Regular service commenced on 8/4/82 with one XPT set replacing the locomotive hauled Central West Express between Sydney and Dubbo. A day return from Sydney to Dubbo ran on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a day return to Orange on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Named the Central West XPT, it was altered to run to Dubbo on Monday to Saturday from 23/11/83, then conditionally on Sundays from 4/6/84 and finally daily from 2/12/85. The Western Mail continued to run nightly to Parkes and Dubbo with other trains to Bathurst and Orange.
The second service was the Mid-North Coast XPT providing a day return from Kempsey to Sydney on Monday to Saturday from 31/5/82. The up working departed Kempsey at 4.45 and the down departed Sydney at 17.48. The XPT worked in conjunction with other north coast trains and the Brisbane Limited Express.
The third service was the Riverina XPT to Albury which ran on Monday to Saturday from 23/8/82. Unlike the others, the Riverina XPT was not a day return so two sets were required, one in each direction per day. The Riverina XPT worked in conjunction with the Intercapital Daylight, Spirit of Progress and Southern Aurora which ran through to Melbourne, plus the overnight South Mail to Albury.
With a top speed of 160km/h, compared with 115km/h for locomotive hauled trains, the Riverina XPT was 1 hour 50 minutes faster than the old Riverina Express.
The standard consist (from the Sydney end) was XP-XBH-XBR-XF-XF-XF-XP.