NSW High-Speed Rail Plan (Routes, Speed & Journey Times)

NSW High Speed Rail Potential Route
NSW High Speed Rail Potential Route - Source: NSW Government

The NSW Government has progressed in making a high-speed rail system a reality with there vision being announced where we may see a ~200km/h rail service initially launched with a >250km/h high-speed VFT train service launched in the long term which will begin in the Sydney region where it will then go to the biggest regional centre’s across the state and even to the ACT.

The vision has outlined several major stops for the service which will begin in Sydney, here is a breakdown of each proposed route

Northern Corridor Route:

  • Sydney
  • Central Coast
  • Newcastle
  • Taree
  • Port Macquarie

Southern Inland Corridor Route:

  • Sydney
  • Goulburn
  • Canberra

Southern Coastal Corridor Route:

  • Sydney
  • Wollongong
  • Nowra

Western Corridor Route:

  • Sydney
  • Lithgow
  • Bathurst
  • ~Orange
  • ~Parkes

If undertaken, this project will change the entire economic and spatial landscape of the New South Wales state. It will give people a chance to live in true lifestyle locations whilst still being able to commute to a inner-city occupation. It can also give businesses a chance to setup in various locations or relocate their head offices as these centre’s become a lot more accessible

Here are some amazing stats on the rail vision for NSW:

Top Speed (Short-Term):At least 200 km/h
Top Speed (Medium to Long-Term):At least 250 km/h
Potential Time Savings:75% on Current Times
Potential Number of Stations:12 Major Station Cities Earmarked

As you can see by the above table, journey times are the biggest benefit of this massive infrastructure vision. Here is a outline of the potential journey times if the development were to go ahead as stated on the NSW Government’s official website, here is a breakdown of what could be on the horizen:

JourneyCurrent TimeHigh-Speed Rail
Time >250km/h
Sydney to Gosford1 Hour 19 Minutes30 Minutes
Sydney to Wollongong1 Hour 25 Minutes30 Minutes
Sydney to Goulburn 2 Hours 31 Minutes 30 Minutes
Sydney to Newcastle 2 Hours 35 Minutes 45 Minutes
Sydney to Nowra 2 Hours 39 Minutes 45 Minutes
Sydney to Canberra4 Hours 7 Minutes1 Hour

Whilst NSW Fast Rail project is set the completely change the landscape of the state, there are more important prioritised rail projects according to the government has recently announced via SMH that the Sydney Metro West & Sydney Metro Greater West are currently more vital transport projects in New South Wales at the present time of writing & have priority to be fast tracked.

NSW High Speed Rail Rolling Stock Trains Render
NSW Fast Rail Rolling Stock Render – Source: NSW Government

Whilst the first step would be to simply optimise the current rail which is in place now, where the longer term vision is to design and create a completely new set of tracks with new rolling stock.

NSW High Speed Rail FAQs

Has the NSW High-Speed Train Project been Confirmed?

No, it is still currently a vision of the NSW Government as of October 2019

Will there be more stations or destinations added along the key routes?

It is unclear whether there will be further routes or cities added to the network at this stage

What will be the top speed of New High-Speed Trains?

It is expected in the short term that the trains will reach a top speed of <200km/h, however, in the long term once a dedicated line is built then this is expected to go up to >250km/h

What impact will the Fast Trains have on Journey Times?

In the long term, the very fast high speed rail in NSW reaching over 250km/h may cut journey times up to 75%

This is an excising time for the residents of both the Sydney region and regional NSW, we will keep you updated here at Build Sydney on the progress of this transport vision.

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Dejan is the Founder & head journalist of Build Sydney. He obtained a degree in Computer Science and has a passion for urban development. He has a goal to report on Sydney's Journey from a major international regional city into a truly global city, most notably the changes in the urban landscape, high rise buildings, infrastructure and transport.


  1. I wonder what effect it will have on housing prices. Will houses further away but near a high speed train go up significantly? Or inner city prices go down as there’s more options for people who work in the CBD?