Australian AirTrain Services

16 replies

Scotgoat

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 06 Feb 2015

Total posts 13

Is it just me or are we being ripped off in Brisbane and Sydney with the so called ‘AirTrain Service’. In fact, they are ordinary commuter trains, operating on commuter lines stopping at all stations. For example, Hong Kong’ Airport Express and London’s Heathrow Express have a proper ‘AirTrain Service’ where there are places to store your luggage and get you to the cities efficiently with minimal stops. Happy to pay a premium, but not for Brisbane and Sydney where there is no luggage storage and a number of times have had to stand due to it being a commuter trains.

AsiaBizTraveller

Member since 20 Nov 2015

Total posts 39

Yes, every time I visit Sydney it's such an embarrassment. But you do have to remember that the HKG and LHR airport express services are completely different to SYD for example, they're non-stop or few stops, high-speed, covering quite a distance because the airport is so far from the city, unlike SYD.

Sparksy

Member since 09 Aug 2015

Total posts 10

A few years back there was talk of CityRail changing the way the Sydney Airport Link worked, they would just have the trains running a shuttle service from the international and domestic terminals to Central, back and forth. But I think this was scrapped because everybody would have had to change trains at Central, even if you were on the suburban train coming from the southwest and going to the airport.

Rufus1

Member since 04 Dec 2013

Total posts 64

You had me until you mentioned the Heathrow Express - per mile the single most expensive rail journey in the world!

Yes, it's a frequent and reliable service but boy do they know how to charge...

Steve987

Member since 23 Feb 2015

Total posts 248

Still better value (cheaper and quicker) than a taxi.

hutch

Member since 07 Oct 2012

Total posts 749

Is it just me or are we being ripped off in Brisbane and Sydney with the so called ‘AirTrain Service’. In fact, they are ordinary commuter trains, operating on commuter lines stopping at all stations. For example, Hong Kong’ Airport Express and London’s Heathrow Express have a proper ‘AirTrain Service’ where there are places to store your luggage and get you to the cities efficiently with minimal stops. Happy to pay a premium, but not for Brisbane and Sydney where there is no luggage storage and a number of times have had to stand due to it being a commuter trains.

It is too expensive. I expect a surcharge, given its a private company, but the charge is too high.

Having said that, at least the Sydney train is frequent. The Brisbane train is not frequent enough in my opinion.

rwSydney

British Airways - Executive Club

Member since 23 Mar 2018

Total posts 26

It will be interesting to see how Crossrail (if it ever opens!) changes things in London. It will be cheaper than the Heathrow Express but will make a small number of stops enroute. They estimate travel time at about half an hour right into the heart of the West End (Tottenham Court Road area).

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 831

Without the surcharges neither link would have been built at the time.

That said the NSW Govt could reduce the fee (they now get about 85% of it, though subsidise Green Sq and Mascot which previously had a surcharge) but the line is already near capacity, and you can't do much to fix that until 2024 when the Metro SouthWest opens and removes T3 from the city circle.

Phil Young

Qantas

Member since 22 Oct 2012

Total posts 183

You had me until you mentioned the Heathrow Express - per mile the single most expensive rail journey in the world!

Yes, it's a frequent and reliable service but boy do they know how to charge...

Whilst everyone moans about the cost of the Heathrow Express, keep in mind that if you are lucky enough to be able to use it on a weekend AND buy your ticket online 90 days ahead, then the price drops to just 5.50 pounds. That price is considerably cheaper that the slower Heathrow Connect service used to charge, for it had a single fixed price.

anonymous

Member since 24 Dec 2013

Total posts 88

At least Brisbane and Sydney have trains. In Melbourne it's a bus with a $20 fare.

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,056

If I'm not mistaken, in Brisbane, Airtrain actually paid to build the elevated train line that serves the domestic and international terminals right through from the last suburban stop (Eagle Junction), and maintains an arrangement with Queensland Rail whereby the trains are basically chartered by Airtrain between Eagle Junction and the airport (and vice versa), but then continue beyond Eagle Junction as a regular QR service to avoid having trains dedicated to making that two stop journey (as opposed to the service being on a normal suburban line).

Speaking as a Brisbane resident though, the train has never made sense for me: unless you live in the city or near the few stops served between the airport and the city, working the train into your travel plans makes the journey considerably longer, and works out to be much more expensive.

For example, adding in the bus connections required, it takes four times as long to get to the airport by public transport than what it takes to drive, and when there's two of you, getting an Uber is generally cheaper than the public transport fare. Logically, I'm not going to pay more for a less convenient journey, so while I can understand the higher fare structure given the way the line was built and is maintained, if they want to increase passenger numbers, the fare needs to be much, much cheaper, to make it worthy of consideration.

Different for tourists, of course, given the train goes from the airport right into the CBD, but for most locals, it's a different story!

ForeverSilver

Member since 06 Jul 2018

Total posts 15

At least Brisbane and Sydney have trains. In Melbourne it's a bus with a $20 fare.

Which in most cases is more cost-effective than a taxi or ride-share, but there is no guarantee it will get you there quicker. What I'll be interested in is if an Airport-Link train plan ever get's approved, will it be a new or an extension to a commuter line like in Brisbane and Sydney.

Grumpyoldman

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 31 Jan 2018

Total posts 13

Critical for me: leave Sydney cbd office 1 hour before departure, walk to station, go through security, 5-10 mins to boarding. Seems good value to me.

And, if you have opal card and have to use more than twice in a week, normal fares apply. Has saved me a bunch.

On balance: a massive time and cost saver.

Husk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Mar 2018

Total posts 13

I agree with Chris and grumpy. It has to be convenient to use.I think that the Sydney service would suit a lot of people in terms of cost and time. I use it in Sydney during peak times from home and most other times as well. 8 min walk to station then 25 mins to airport, this includes a change at central. In peak hour, even though it is only about 9 km from home to airport, can take 45 mins and $45++ in a cab.

On Friday night I arrived from MEL - Walked off the plane about 5.10 PM and walked in the door at home before 6 PM. I was going to grab a cab, but looked at the line and thought that plus the traffic it would have been 1 hour +

If coming from or going to the Sydney CBD it is a no brainer for me, very convenient.


Last editedby Husk at May 20, 2019, 06:02 PM.

Andrew Barkery

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Mar 2011

Total posts 423

Talking about airport trains, ... just wait and see what PER/Transperth/the WA government will do, or if they will charge a big surcharge as well, when the rail line starts working under PER Airport.
Passed by there a few weeks ago, and there was fencing around a part of the carpark, not sure if tunnelling has gone past the airport or not.
They probaby would stop the 380 bus and the other one that goes to
T3/T4, like what they did with the 350 bus from Central to Sydney Airport many years ago, direct mind you, not having to go as now via Bondi Junction.
The Vic government also has ideas of taking a train to MEL airport, probably would take away the 478/479 and the 901 buses when that one starts.
They could also in SYD take the tram from Anzac Ave all the way to SYD airport, if they just continued it underground.
After all, they took the rail line all the way from Mascot to the airport by boring tunnels.
Last editedby Andrew Barkery at May 21, 2019, 10:38 PM.

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