Following the initial success of XPT services to Dubbo, Kempsey and Albury, it was decided to extend services to the North Tablelands and Canberra. 20 additional vehicles were ordered in 1983. Five new XP power cars were ordered, plus 15 trailers with rotating seats. The letter D indicated rotating seats. Additional guards accomodation was provided to give a guards compartment at the each end of a set.
The new vehicles were delivered on the following dates:
XP2010 15/ 2/84 City of Orange XP2011 12/ 3/84 City of Sydney XP2012 19/ 5/84 City of Tamworth XP2013 31/ 5/84 Municipality of Casino XP2014 29/ 6/84 City of Grafton XDH2104 2/11/83 XDH2105 4/11/83 XDH2106 27/11/83 XDH2107 2/12/83 XDH2108 16/12/83 XDH2109 22/ 1/84 XDH2110 21/ 2/84 XDH2111 13/ 3/84 XDH2112 30/ 3/84 XDH2113 7/ 6/84 XDR2154 29/ 1/84 XDR2155 5/ 3/84 XDR2156 19/ 5/84 XD2212 3/ 7/84 XD2213 28/ 9/84These allowed the formation of six 2+5 sets with three spare power cars and five spare trailers. The standard consist was (from the Sydney end) XP - XDH - XD - XBR/XDR - XF - XFH - XP.
Regular services to Canberra commenced on 29/8/83 with a morning train from Canberra to Sydney on Monday to Saturday and an evening train from Sydney to Canberra on Sunday to Friday. The journey time was approximately 4 hours in each direction, 50 minutes faster than a 900 class railmotor ("DEB set"). The Canberra XPT worked in conjunction with the Canberra Monaro Express DEB sets and weekend loco-hauled trains.
The Central West XPT ran on Sunday (conditionally) from 27/11/83. Services to the North Tablelands commenced on 16/4/84 with an XPT set running in the down direction to Tenterfield on Monday and Wednesday and to Armidale on Friday, and each returning the next day. Services on alternate days were provided by a 900 class diesel railcar (DEB set). The North Tablelands became exclusive worked by XPTs from 1/6/84. The North Mail continued to run up to four night per week.
From 4/6/84 there were some additional timetable changes.
XBH2100-2103 First Class XDH2104-2110 Recoded XFH, Economy Class XDH2111-2113 First Class XBR2150-2153 First Class XDR2154-2156 First Class XF2200-2205 Economy Class XF2206-2210 Recoded XD, First Class XF2211 Economy Class XD2212-2213 First ClassEconomy class trailers had fixed (non-rotating) seats in 2+2 form. First class was a mix of rotrating 2+2 and fixed 2+1. The seats from XDH2104-2110 and XF2206-2210 were swapped over to allow this.
Following the introduction of ordinary fares on the XPT, demand rose 33% between May and August 1985. Comeng was contracted to construct 12 additional XD trailers to allow six sets to be built up to 2+7 form.
From 14/10/85, the Mid-North Coast XPT was withdrawn and the Northern Tablelands XPT was reduced to three days per week (replaced with a locomotive hauled train, the Northern Tablelands Express on three other days). These changes allowed a new daily service to Grafton billed as the Holiday Coast XPT replacing the North Coast Daylight Express. Over the next 8 months, patronage between Sydney and Grafton rose 293% compared to the North Coast Daylight.
The new XD trailers were delivered during late 1986.
XD2214 20/ 8/86 XD2215 1/ 9/86 XD2216 15/ 9/86 XD2217 20/10/86 XD2218 30/10/86 XD2219 28/11/86 XD2210 17/11/86 XD2221 5/12/86 XD2222 12/12/86 XD2223 21/12/86 XD2224 22/12/86 XD2225 30/ 1/87By February 1987, all XPT services except the Central West XPT became 2+7. The standard 2+7 consist became XP - XDH - XD - XD - XDR - XD - XF - XFH - XP. The 2+5 consist remained the same.
XBH2100 had its fixed 2+1 seating replaced with rotating 2+2 seats in 1986. XBH2101-2103 and XBR2150-2153 were similarly treated in 1989. They received the D coding at this time. First class trailers XD2206-2210 and XD2212 were converted to economy class in 1988 and recoded XM. There was no change to the seating arrangements in the XD to XM conversion, but the seat coverings were changed from orange to green. The standard 2+7 consist became XP - XDH - XD - XD - XDR - XM - XF - XFH - XP.
With the formation of Countrylink in 1989, it was decided to alter a number of services throughout the state. There were two test runs of XPTs beyond Grafton in July 1989. The Holiday Coast XPT was extended to Murwillumbah on 17/7/89, returning the next day. It was also extended to Brisbane on 22/7/89. The new timetable took effect from 11/2/90.