This is a comparison of Australian capital city suburban and commuter rail systems in many domains. Included are outer-suburban services, but not inter-city, inter-state, tourist, or other such services. Unfortuatley, some figures may include unwanted measurements.
Cells coloured green represent the best city for that category. Yellow shows a city that is behind or substandard. Red shows a city that is the worst. Sometimes multiple cities share colours for various reasons. Grey shows "not applicable".
This document is under construction, and probably will be for some time while I research. Entries in italics with a (?) mean that the entry is suspected but not confirmed. Accuracy is not guaranteed - please check with a more reliable source if you need accurate info.
|Catchment population||1||1||3x Adl|
Non train, non bus operators
|0 (?)||0 (?)
|0 (?)||0 (?)||2(+)Trams
|Suburban train operators||TransAdelaide||QR citytrain||0 (Tourist)
|0 (?)||0 (?)||C: Connex
|120||0 (?)||0 (?)||0 (?)||C:128(240)
|Number of stations||84||143||1-2 (?)||0 (?)||0 (?)||C:90+27=117
|Number of suburban passenger cars||100||(?)||0 (?)||0 (?)||C:
|Passengers annual (Million)||279|
|Airport connection||(Short bus, taxi ride)||Yes||tram(?)||Yes(?)||Yes, $ and maint.|
Catchment population refers to the poulation covered by the rail network. This includes fringe cities serviced by regular outer-suburban commuter services. Naturally there will be pockets of non-serviced areas included.
Non-bus operators: This highlights tram operations and other innovative transport solutions. Melbourne is the city of trams, so gets a prize for the extensive, two(?) operator tram network. Adelaide gets a prize for the Busway (0-Bahn), an innovative guided busway that combines the speed of rail with the convenience of road trasit. Sydney gets a prize for its monorail, used for inner-city transport, even if locals joke about it, it's a leg saver for the inner city, although a connection to Central station might make it a bit more useful.
Sydney gets the prize for biggest system, however it's interesting to note the huge proportions of track and cars. It could be possible that they quote track length, not route length. Still, they have a lot of rolling stock compared to other cities.
Thanks to those who have supplied corrections so far.
|Top speed Km/h||90||100-140||90(?)||(?)||130|
smallest capacity car (seats)
|224 - IMU 3x set
180 - ICE 4x set
|largest capacity set (seats)||5x113=565||248 - EMU 3x set
(496 2 sets)
|3 or 6||Comeng:6
|1500V DC||xxxxV??||1500V DC|
|Diesel-Electric models||2(4)||0(?)||Outer. Sub
|Air Conditioning||All||All||Comeng||All(?)||3/4 of cars|
New: + DVA
|Door opening||(Driver release) Manual button or handle||
Auto or button (?)
|Auto, auto swing
|Auto,(?)||Guard vocal warning|
Where multiple values are available, the most significant (largest/smallest) is chosen.
Models are shown as total models / (sub-models (ie power/trailing/driver cars))
(historic tourist) means that some refurbished trains are in regular tourist operation, while there are no suburban or commuter entries.
|Most frequent (min)||30 or less||6-(130?!)|
Least frequent (hrs)
|1 or 6||4?|
|Max freq(weekend)||1 or none|
~198 (old info?)
|Hours of operation||~5am-
2:46 (H11) to
to TT - to time table
w/x min - within X minutes
a - achieved, p- peak
95% to TT
g: 97% toTT
g: 100% w/3min
99% peak run
|Locals whinge||Not really||Yes|
|Trains make news||Very little, neuteral||Frequently, some negative|
Frequency refers to cars departing from stations to similar destinations. Otherwise it can be a lot more frequent when express trains catch up to all-stops trains, like around 5 minutes (in Adelaide)
I'm confused about Sydney's reliability - different sources give different stats. Also Sydney's PR is two-sided, as it gets a lot more attention than some cities where trains infrequently make news.
|Signalling||Complely 3-colour lights||(?)||Mix||(?)||Mix|
Signal passed at danger trips brake
|Yes - non mechanical||(?)||Most, (upgrade:all)
|Emergency brake for passengers||Yes-all cars||(?)||No|
|Help points in cars||No||Upgrade||(?)||New|
|Help points at stations||Staffed(some)||Most||Yes/some?||Upgrade all||Yes/some?|
|Payphones||Take a hike or
use a mobile
|Most||(?)||Upgrade all||Yes- 99%|
|Electro-Magnetic brake operation||At least some(?) -
Maybe New(?) -
|CCTV in cars||Yes/some(?)||Upgrade||Yes/some|
|Night safety||Nightmoves: single car operation||(?)||(?)||(?)||NightSafe: some cars locked|
|Mobiles at night||Upgrade: after 8pm||(?)||Yes(?)||(?)||Yes(?)|
|Guard/PSA||Set >= 4||All|
|Primary fare system||2hr trips (unlimited)||From/To
|2hr within Zones||Zoned||Zoned somehow|
|Mode transfer on one ticket?||Yes, all
|Ticket type||Slim cardboard||(?)||CreditCard size?||CreditCard size||CreditCard size?|
|Ticket reliability||Simple and reliable||(?)||Teething probs(?)||(?)||97.5%|
120 new inspectors
2hr journey peak
|2hr off peak||$1.80 ($0.9)|
Saving from normal
|Yes - All
|Other multiple trips||No||Monthly, etc||weekly, monthly, +||Month, wk, yearly||Month, Wk, yearly|
|Turn up with cash||Yes-all||staffed(?)||Yes-all||(?)||Yes|
|Consessions||Two concession types, and inter-peak discount||Unsure(?)||Various schemes.||yes?|
|Bike fare - peak||consession||Not allowed||Not allowed||Child fare|
|Bike fare - off peak||free||double doors only||(?)||Free||Free|
|Free CBD travel||(CityFree buses)||(?)||With off-peak ticket||CAT Bus and FTZ train||No. City Hopper ticket|
Prices in brackets are for concession fares(concession/student). A 2-section ticket is for a very short journey with limited, if any, transfers.
|Next train - audio||All - push button||(?)||most(?)||All||most(?)|
Next train - visual
|Staffed / major stations||Some major stations(?)||Some major stations(?)|
|Additional visual info||Adelaide||Yes(?)||Some(?)|
|Timetables on display||Adelaide, (?)||(?)||(?)||All stations||Almost all|
|Timetables - supply||Adelaide, Staffed(?)||staffed(?)|
|Timtable online||Text & PDF||No(?)||Yes||text, PDF||
|Route planner online||Yes, no transfers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Delays announced||Newspapers (day before)||(?)||Online, stations(?)||Online, stations, trains(?)|
Light green: best
|Useful and fast. URLs not user friendly.
A little stale
|Good & useful.||
M: Impractical - Too much eye candy
|Good, lacks technical info||Good, lots of useful info. Easy nav.
|Passenger info center||KingWilliam St||Central &
|Stations of architechural or historical significance||Adelaide, Gawler,
|?||Flinders St||?||Central (tours)
Info current as at November 2001.
Updated Nov 25, 2001