Sydney Trains Advice

 
  stooge spark Train Controller

Location: My House
Hi all,
I'm going to go to Sydney for 12 hours next Thursday, mostly because I want to see the railway lines over there, but I would like to also get some help regarding this.
1. How does Opal work exactly? Do you pay for all your trips until you reach a daily cap, and then it's mostly free? For the record, I have checked the website and I'm still pretty confused.
2. Also on the website, it said that you can't use Opal in certain buses in the outer suburbs, can someone tell me which of these exactly?
3. Weirdly enough, I'm more interested in suburban Sydney, rather then it's landmarks and beaches (I know, its crazy), Can someone recommend some trains lines and suburbs I should go to? Currently I'm planning on using the Carlingford line and seeing Paramatta, what else would nice to travel on/to?
4. As i'm certain that day is a typical weekday (minus school holidays of course) I would assume that the evening peak might raise a few problems, which buses/trains should I avoid in particular during this time?
5. Could anyone recommend some other forums where I can find info on Sydney?
Answers greatly appreciated.
Stooge

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

If you go to parramatta at night it might be best to bring a body guard. Best time of the day to travel around Sydney is between 9am and 3pm.

The airport has an access fee that is charged on top the journey fee and that of the daily and weekly caps.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Adult gets capped at around $15 on weekdays.  Everyone has a 42.50 cap on sundays.  Once the cap is reached then its free.  
train to wollongong is very nice, but very slow.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
If you go to parramatta at night it might be best to bring a body guard.
simstrain

HA! HA HA HA! You're joking. You've more chance of getting mugged in Blacktown (at any time of the day) than Parramatta.
  stooge spark Train Controller

Location: My House
If you go to parramatta at night it might be best to bring a body guard. Best time of the day to travel around Sydney is between 9am and 3pm.

The airport has an access fee that is charged on top the journey fee and that of the daily and weekly caps.
simstrain
No part of being in sydney involves night travel, and I'm already on a budget as it is Smile

Does the Airport fee apply just once a day? Or anytime you access the Airport stations?
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
Gatepass is every time you go through the gates. Up until the daily/weekly cap.

If I were you, I'd get the bus (Blasphemy! This is a rail forum! I know, I know), avoid the fee altogether.
  stooge spark Train Controller

Location: My House
Oh! I forgot to put this in the original post, and the mobile version doesn't seem to allow editing, I'm going on a coach to get from Melbourne to Sydney (the consistent pricing and the prospect of being able to charge my phone vs the train won me over) so I dont have to worry about the Airport fares at any point of the journey.
Just to avoid further confusion,  im leaving on the 7pm coach on Wednesday, so I spend the Thursday in sydney, then go on the coach (also on 7pm, oddly enough) and come back home on Australia day (or invasion day as some greenies would like to call it:)).
The Wollongong timetable looks a little weird, as if some trains terminate at Waterfall, is this correct? I probably won't have the time to dedicate a trip to there but I won't leave it out of the question.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
The Wollongong timetable looks a little weird, as if some trains terminate at Waterfall, is this correct? I probably won't have the time to dedicate a trip to there but I won't leave it out of the question.
stooge spark
Coming back? They'd be the Port Kembla trains that either terminate at Thirroul, or Waterfall, yes.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Sydney in 12 hours??? GOOD LUCK.
You have an underground in Melbourne now so no need to do that except to get somewhere like going across the Harbour Bridge and maybe Circular to see what a Real Harbour by a City looks like.
I have traveled between Sydney and Lithgow (which is a great trip for the scenery) more times that I care to count but there are sections where your in cuttings or suburbia and that is no different to any where else for the first 50 kms.
Once you start to climb the Mountains, the scenery from there to Lithgow is hard to find better.
It was rather like driving from Byron Bay to Lismore along the 'Coast Road', I only saw the sea maybe half a dozen times and then only for a few minutes.
Going to Gosford is a great trip but not until you near half way there and leaving Hawkesbury River Station, crossing the River and running beside the Brisbane Waters.

Although NOT a Rail trip, going from Circular Quay to Manly and return BY FERRY is Sydney's best attraction of all.
  stooge spark Train Controller

Location: My House
Gordon it appears the trip might take too long to get to Lithgow, is there a good town before it?
Another question, with the intercity trains, can you use to travel between two sydney surburban stations? Like say using a Blue Mountains train from Central to Strathfield is that allowed? I think it might be allowed but I just wanna make sure.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

If you go to parramatta at night it might be best to bring a body guard.

HA! HA HA HA! You're joking. You've more chance of getting mugged in Blacktown (at any time of the day) than Parramatta.
s3_gunzel

This is true but there has been stabbiings at parramatta recently at the bus interchange.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
If you go to parramatta at night it might be best to bring a body guard.

HA! HA HA HA! You're joking. You've more chance of getting mugged in Blacktown (at any time of the day) than Parramatta.

This is true but there has been stabbiings at parramatta recently at the bus interchange.
simstrain
There's been a stabbing in Wentworthville, yet I still feel confident walking up the street at 2am. Please, don't let that get in the way of your narrative.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Stick to the Sydney cbd and harbour where more fun can be had. There really isn't anything to see outside of the CBD. Olympic park is a big dreary old place if there isn't an event happening. Everywhere else is just standard suburbia. Lithgow and the 3 sisters is a really nice place if you want somewhere nice to visit and have the time. hobbyco in the QVB building in the Sydney CBD is a great place to waste some time. Take the light rail out to the end of the line to dulwich hill. Manly or taronga zoo ferry is nice.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Stooge park, At one time they tried to prevent locals from traveling on 'long distance services' but that no longer applies, you will get people joining at say Strathfield  traveling to Parramatta, Blacktown or Penrith  because it doesnt stop in between.
To catch one of those Trains at Central, you go to the 'Steam Platforms', 1 to 14 ? and for the suburban services, 15 onwards and going way down underground 23? TO 25? for the Eastern Suburbs.

Its fairly hot and humid in Sydney this time of year so carry something to nibble that wont melt or go off in the heat and water to drink.

I only mentioned Lithgow as that's the end of the electrification some 2hs 50 mins from Sydney and its the part from Emu Plains to Lithgow that's the most scenic but certainly too far to do in the 12 hours you have mentioned.
On that line Katoomba is the highlight with the Sky Car, Scenic Railway and Echo point with the Three Sisters along with views of the valleys below with you  being 3336 feet (1000 metres) above Sea Level, you wont see anything like that in Victoria !!!
Again,  a Day trip on its own .

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