Additional rollingstock and services

Additional rollingstock and services

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/ 9/84
These 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.

The next major change was the change to two classes from 13/5/85 and the surcharge was abolished. The trailers were divided up into first and economy class during May 1985. Vehicle recodings and classifications were:
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 Class
Economy 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/ 1/87
By 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.

The new Countrylink livery of dark blue, turquoise, white and silver was first applied to the set XP2000 - XDH2100 - XD2223 - XDR2155 - XFH2106 - XP2003 which was outshopped in January 1990 and entered service on the Central West XPT on 9/1/90. The last vehicle to be repainted was XP2014 which made its last run in the old livery on 6/7/92.