This entry was posted on 6/22/2007 6:32 AM and is filed under Australia.
Australia essentially has just three main trains. There's...
The Overlander, that has been going between Sydney
and Melbourne since 1887. The name was derived from the affectionate
term, "Overlander"’ an adventurer who had travelled across the country.
The Indian Pacific, that goes 4352 kilometers
across the country, from Sydney to Perth, including going across the
world’s longest length of straight railway track, 478 kilometres
through the stark and desolate Nullarbor Plain.
GHAN, which goes 3000 kilometers (1860 miles) from
Darwin in the far north to Adelaide in the far south.
Pause over this animation a moment to see their routes...
We caught The Ghan
mid-way along its route at The Center - in Alice Springs, and spent the next 24 hours and 25 minutes aboard - "All Aboard"...
The train is named The Ghan in honor of the early Afghan camel
minders called cameleers. They were brought over with their camels, in the early days
when the only way to transport anything from one town to the next,
across the Outback, was by camel.
Here's the all-important locomotive...
And here's a glimpse of our compartment. We
enjoyed ourselves with a few good naps, reading, sudokus, and we even
had electricity so we could be on our laptops and keep up with our
And at night, our sitting couch transformed into two sleeper beds...
Guess who was on top...? The sleeping was not all that
easy, as it made a lot of stops out in the middle of seemingly-nowhere,
and a lot of rocking and rolling, but the fun of the day trip part made
up for it. We also met some great people aboard, and did more
than our fair share of socializing.