Sydney - The Opal Card...

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by stuartmoss, 15 May 2015.

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  1. stuartmoss

    stuartmoss Member

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    Hello All,

    I'm just after a bit of advice about how the Opal Card works and what it costs etc.

    I've just ordered one online but I don't know if I've done the right thing here...

    I'm off to Australia for a month this August, and am spending a week in Sydney, where I happened to live 20 years ago. I want to go on many trips down memory lane, hopefully with the help of an Opal Card.

    I'll be staying smack bang in the city centre, probably near Wynyard Station or Circular Quay. During the week that I'm there I intend to do the following:
    1. Get the bus to Rozelle, walk down Darling St to Balmain Wharf and get the ferry back to Circular Quay.
    2. Go to Katoomba on the train, get the train back as far as Parramatta and then get the River Cat back to Circular Quay from there.
    3. Go to Manly on the Ferry, and from there get a bus up to Palm Beach, probably stopping at Deewhy on the way back.
    4. Try out the new light rail system.
    5. Get a train across Sydney Harbour Bridge and back.
    6. Get the train or bus out to Bondi.
    7. Take a few frivolous trips on Harbour Ferrys to nowhere in particular.

    I've ordered an Opal Card, and had to put $40 credit on it, but when I read the website, it says that the maximum Opal Fare is $2.50 per day - is that correct? If so I've put way too much on my card, but it was the minimum amount. I can't imagine that I can go all the way to Katoomba and back for $2.50, if anyone can clarify I'd appreciate it.

    Does anyone know what the longest train journey is that I could do on this card? I'd be up for going to Newcastle or Wollongong if possible.

    Finally, my usual question - can anyone suggest any freight locations near Sydney? I lived there for a year in the early 90s and never saw one freight train during that time...

    Cheers cobbers.
     
  2. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    As well as freight to/from the south (Melbourne), almost all freight to/from the west (Adelaide, Perth, Parkes) enters/exits the Sydney region on the route through Moss Vale and Goulburn to avoid the Blue Mountains line which requires an extra locomotive.

    Somewhere between Moss Vale and Goulburn would be the best spot, as some freight only joins the main line from a junction just north of Moss Vale.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    That daily maximum applies to just pensioners with a NSW pensioner/senior card, and to everyone on Sundays only.

    You can go to Newcastle, Bathurst, Goulburn or Port Kembla (beyond Wollongong) using Opal, but with one way fares of $8.30 for those longest trips of over 65 kilometres you'll get to the $60 weekly maximum pretty quickly.
     
  3. Pakenhamtrain

    Pakenhamtrain Member

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    The metro goods line between Sydenham and Campsie has regular freight trains to/from Botany.

    As for opal there's also the weekly travel award with after the 8th paid journey the rest of the week is free.
     
  4. stuartmoss

    stuartmoss Member

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    I've just looked on Google Maps, is this a shared passenger / freight with the T3 Bankstown Line? Can you recommend a particular station for filming from?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Good to know, I don't feel so bad about spending $40 on the card now.
     
  5. Pakenhamtrain

    Pakenhamtrain Member

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    Yea thats the one.
    Platform 1 at Campsie and Canterbury have bits facing the goods line.

    There's also Southern Sydney Freight Line which is in the Suburban area which carries all the Freight services Southbound to Melbourne.
     
  6. ag51ruk

    ag51ruk Member

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    You do need to actually touch in the card within 60 days of purchasing online credit, or the amount will be returned to your payment card. If you're not travelling until August, this may affect you.

    Cards posted to the UK generally arrive in about a week - remember to activate it on the website once received, you may then want to add further credit just before your trip if the original $40 gets refunded. Also that if you're using either of the airport stations at any time, there is a much higher fare - but still capped weekly at something like $23
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2015
  7. LesS

    LesS Member

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    As a Sydney resident with an Opal card I can say that I have found most of the issues with the card.

    Rule 1 ALWAYS touch in and touch out, on trains, buses, trams. The only exception is the Many ferry and there are large signs to this effect.

    The daily cap for an ordinary card Is $15.

    The auto top-up will occur in less than 1 hour after reaching the lower limit.

    There is a 60 minute allowance for a break of journey. Touching back in, somewhere, within 60 minutes will be a continuing journey and a single fare will be applied. You can do this 4 times before a new journey commences. One issue here is that "circular journey" give fare calculation issues as is the case in London.

    After 8 paid journeys in a week, commencing on Monday, all journeys for the rest of the week, until Sunday night, are free.

    The ticket is valid for long journeys to Newcastle/Maitland, Goulburn, Lithgow etc. Care is need with these journeys because of time limits. If you touch in again within 60 minutes of touching out you will likely exceed the journey time limit and incur a penalty fare. I have first hand experience with this earlier this year.

    A recommended day trip is to Kiama on the south coast. Take the 9.27am train from Central, enjoy lunch and some good sightseeing in Kiama before returning. There is a train back to Sydney every hour.

    For freight, as recommended, go to Canterbury on the Bankstown line. The freight line is separate from the passenger line. To see freight on the main south you really have to go somewhere south of Macarther and the suburban boundary. If you go up to Newcastle, take the Maitland train to Beresfield. You will see plenty of long, heavy coal trains as well as general freight.

    I will be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
     
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