Dating from 1992, it was based on magnetic stripe technology and was interoperable with the Sydney Buses and Sydney Ferries systems.
Two were Country Link services that carried City Rail passengers.
To provide a passenger service between midnight and while leaving the tracks clear of trains for maintenance work, parallel bus services were established in 1989.
All M and H sets, which had a green target plate, were serviced at Eveleigh Maintenance Centre.
For most of the brand's life City Rail's ticketing system was the Automated Fare Collection System (AFC).
"There is an overwhelming sense," the report concluded, "that City Rail does not promote a real commitment to quality, customer focus and a service culture." On-time running improved after new timetables were introduced in 20.
In October 2012, a report published by Pricewaterhouse Coopers found City Rail performed poorly compared to many metro services from 27 other major world cities.
Southern Highlands trains required a connection at Campbelltown as they ran into the city during peak hours only.
Regional services operated from the terminus station at Newcastle, with local electric services to the Central Coast and diesel services to Telarah with some extending to Dungog and Scone.
Trains coming from the Airport & East Hills Line and Bankstown Line, after travelling anti-clockwise on the City Circle sometimes terminated upon arrival at Central and proceeded to the Macdonaldtown Turnback.
However, most trains continued on and become respective outward bound Inner West trains and South Line trains.
City Rail was established pursuant to the Transport Administration Act, 1988 (NSW); and was first mentioned as an entity distinct from the State Rail Authority in the Parliament of New South Wales in the opening address of the third session of the 49th parliament by the Governor of New South Wales, James Rowland on 21 February 1990.