XPLORER Train Sydney to Moree
From Sydney to Moree the long distance train has several novelties of interest to the traveller. These include the flat track via plains from Werris Creek onwards, the fact the train is not modified XPT (a common assumption - I know because I assumed it, but now I appreciate the difference) as well as four interesting towns after Werris Creek of Gunnedah, Boggabri, Narrabri and Bellata, with Bellata easily the smallest. Near those towns are bores on the Great Artesian Basin. Yet the ultimate novelty is the change at Werris Creek Railway Station. What is the A to E carriages becomes two of D and E for Moree, three for Armidale, of A, B, C, and the Sydney departure train thus becomes two separate trains departing Werris Creek. Note that is general and can be altered depending on demand. A random example of an XPLORER train at Sydney Central is shown below (credit: NSW XPLORER Wikipedia article
This link from Transport NSW explains the carriage types and concept of the XPLORER train
Official website for booking trains (book online for 10% discount)
or call 13 22 32.
Note that it's often easy to call this an XPT train but the train to Moree is an XPLORER train, XPT is for travel to North Coast, Dubbo and Melbourne, yet the other intra-state NSW trains are XPLORER. Well worth clarifying because it gets a bit confusing, although calling them XPT makes some sense it's not really true. It is also interesting as to why the tracks in other states are different gauges but as the Moree line is all standard gauge of the same width, it's slightly beyond the scope of this review.
Yet for those learning about trains in New South Wales, the XPLORER first-class carriages also contain meal services - called 'the buffet', which aptly describes the range of meals and snacks available to all train passengers, yet doesn't imply serving oneself any hot food. It is called the buffet on all NSW regional trains yet on that note what sort of overall experience is in store? Especially for those yet to travel on XPT or XPLORER, the two are clearly similar with 40 degree angle of seat recline for first class and 28 degree for economy class for XPT as well as the XPLORER, they use the buffet for meal service and are painted similarly, but there are some differences with the XPT utilising sleeper carriages and more carriage types are present in the XPT according to the XPT carriage layout website on transportnsw.info
. Focussing on the Moree trip, simply the combination of the plains, the intermittent stops at small towns, the long but not excessive travel time, the Spring sunset arrival in Moree, and the multitude of things to do in Moree along with the fact Moree is quite a likeable place makes the train journey a memorable trip.
Schedule and tickets
At a maximum fare at the time of publication of $102.09 Australian dollars (AUD), for first class tickets from Sydney to Moree the fare allows comfortable seating - as seen in the photo at the top of the review (credit: article author) (and below (credit: NSW XPLORER Wikipedia article ))
, with the maximum luggage allowance and a better experience for those taking the trip as a holiday or a one-off. If depending on the service frequently, economy class allows savings - by being priced approximately three quarters of the adult first-class fare, while it is clearly stipulated that a wide range of concession fares are available for both classes of travel. The service does not run at night
, as the eight-and-a-half-hours-in-duration journey departs Moree for Sydney at 8.05 seven days a week
and arrives at Moree from Sydney every day at 18.00. Overall, I can easily say it's an underrated train ride because the trains are likeable and the price is affordable, plus the viewing is good - especially when unfamiliar with the Moree Plains region. Would never have heard of it until recently yet glad I booked and did it.
Linked below are some Moree tourism sites worth noting:
Moree tourism official pages
Moree Tourist Information Centre
Eight great things to do in Moree
Moree at times seems tranquil but the community are constantly trying to improve the safety of the township for locals and tourists. However, some vigilance may not be a bad thing. It appeared to me to have lots of what seems excess gates and crimsafe doors and window bars on buildings and while I am not saying it's unsafe it didn't necessarily strike me as a place to totally let the guard down either. Nevertheless, it's worth a visit and doubtless one shall see the subtle aspect to this, but if one starts to understand Moree, then it is one of the best holidays
one can take. It's got numerous benefits such as reduced stress, fresh air, spacious streets, novelty of being a pecan-tree-farming centre and the main attraction of artesian water.
I found after three days I started to 'grasp the concept' of travel to Moree, it certainly is not that unsafe a place but the topic is worth a hint of discussion. Keeping valuables on you at all times on the train trip itself is recommended even by train staff, but it's not taken as far as all hand luggage, just valuables like wallets, cards, phones, etc. Although in fairness it's sort of advantageous that not many people are on the train at least till Werris Creek, I think it's up to personal choice ultimately, as it definitely is a comfortable train trip as opposed to a really tense one. Overall, I realised, at least to me, that tourism at Moree has a cost, so it's up to the consumer to weigh those costs and benefits if wanting to return and access its artesian spas, artesian-watered drinks and their apparent benefits, as well as the train trip and the extra benefits to staying there such as interesting foods and tours to surrounding areas.
In terms of the Moree Train Station customer service, I thought the Moree Train Station staff did the right thing when the chips were down, as an example, I got successfully directed by train station staff to my Crisps Coaches stop direct to Brisbane via Goondiwindi which in fact was departing instead at the visitor information centre - a further eight-minute walk away. Hence, I made my coach on time despite at first somehow thinking it departed from the train station. As one can imagine, without that sort of useful advice, I would have missed my coach and would have likely been stuck in Moree without a room or transportation.
I was encouraged by my accommodation provider not to use taxis, but such advice was based on wanting me to see more of the township, from my hosts at Baths Motel
. My impression is if feeling better about taxis then motel owners or management at all of Moree's many motels are knowledgeable about their town and can advise accordingly. As the tourism industry is relatively large in Moree there are several ways to taxi around town.
The rail station/connecting buses
The Moree Railway Station is officially on Morton Street for car drop-offs and rail-bus connection. It is worth noting a coach trip to and from Grafton joins Moree Railway Station with the North Coast line in a sensible convenience - although departures for these coach services are not daily - please check the previously linked trainlink pages for timetables or call 13 22 32. However, they are essentially for Brisbane-bound passengers rather than Sydney-bound ones who can better use the aforementioned direct 8.05 morning departure, which is a 9.30 departure out of Sydney to Moree, entirely by rail. To help get one's bearings - especially if arriving at the rail station - a photo of the north of the Moree station view seen below (credit: Wikipedia article on Moree Railway Station
, I feel that all the NSW trainlink trips are worth a positive review, so this Moree trip review introduced some general as well as specific-to-Moree concepts. More ideas about the train services can be brought into other reviews. With services statewide and interstate this topic is extensive however the Moree journey from Sydney Central to Moree was an ideal article to discuss NSW trains, the XPLORER concept and Moree tourism.
262288 - 2023-09-01 12:26:03