The Blue Mountains Line is an interurban rail service operated by NSW TrainLink serving the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales, Australia. The line travels west from Sydney to the major town of Katoomba and on to Lithgow on the western foothills of the mountains. A limited diesel service extends to the regional city of Bathurst, which is supplemented by road coaches connecting Bathurst to Lithgow. The Blue Mountains Line operates over a section of the Main Western railway line. As such, the tracks are also traversed by longer distance NSW TrainLink Regional (West) and Indian Pacific passenger services and by freight trains.
The Blue Mountains line is a section of the Main Western Line which opened in 1868. The line was built with gradients as steep as 1 in 33 (3%) and curves as sharp as 8 chains (160m). Most of the curves were eased to 12 chains (240m) with duplication. The line originally ascended the eastern and descended the western sides of the Blue Mountains via a series of zig-zag track sections. The eastern zig zag was by passed by a tunnel in 1892 and the western zig zag (now in use as a Tourist Railway) was bypassed in 1910 with the Ten Tunnels Deviation. In the 1950s, the line was electrified primarily as a means of easing the haulage of coal freight from the western coalfields to the coastal ports, but a by-product of this programme was the introduction of electric interurban passenger services as far west as Bowenfels, later cut back to the current terminus of Lithgow. Goods trains are now exclusively diesel hauled. Electric passenger services were originally provided by a combination of electric locomotive hauled carriages and single deck electric multiple unit sets (known as U sets), both of which have now been withdrawn and replaced more modern rolling stock. In June 2012, New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell announced that services would be extended to Bathurst. The service commenced on 21 October 2012.
The line is primarily operated by NSWTrainLink's older V set trains. Modern H sets (OSCARs) also operate on the line as far as Springwood, due to the loading gauge past Springwood. This limitation is caused by narrow tunnels and also old platform designs. The platforms do not allow enough clearance for the (plug) doors on H sets to open. As the electric overhead wiring ends at Lithgow, diesel-electric Endeavour railcars operate the services to and from Bathurst. Most Blue Mountains line services start and terminate from the intercity platforms (4-15) of Central (Sydney Terminal) station. However, a small number of special commuter services exist during weekday peak periods: one morning city-bound and two evening out-bound services to and from Springwood arrive on the suburban platforms of Central (platforms 16 and 18 respectively). These trains continue to Hornsby via the North Shore Line.
- Emu Plains
- Valley Heights
- Springwood - intermediate terminus
- Wentworth Falls
- Katoomba - major intermediate terminus
- Medlow Bath
- Mount Victoria - intermediate terminus
- Hartly Vale- closed
- Newnes Junction- closed
- Clarence- closed
- Zig Zag - for Zig Zag Railway museum
- Lithgow - terminus for electric services
- Bathurst - terminus, limited services
Coach services stop at the following locations: