Title Picture

Currumbin Beach, South East Queensland.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A TRIAL TRAIN TRIP

Last October we flew to Perth and joined a coach tour of W.A. Then we flew to Adelaide and hired a car with friends and travelled around S.A. We returned to Adelaide and then we were to catch the Indian Pacific Train from Adelaide to Sydney.

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When we arrived at Adelaide station we were told that there had been a train derailment and The Indian Pacific Train couldn't get into Adelaide. So we were taken by bus to Peterborough a 2 hour trip north, where we had been sight seeing a few days before.
We were waiting on Peterborough Station while the train was serviced. It has come all the way from Perth on the Indian Coast and it goes across Australia via Adelaide to Sydney on the Pacific Coast. It takes 3 days and nights to travel the 4,352 km. Ann and George have done this whole trip but the rest of us were going to trial the shorter 2 day, 1night trip from Adelaide to Sydney.

The train has 16 cars and is 427 m long.

The dining car

The lounge car

At first we travelled through desert.
While we were at dinner the crew converted our cabin into a sleeper. However, we didn't find it easy to sleep as the train rocked about a bit too much. 

In the morning the scenery had changed to farmland.

We climbed over the beautiful Blue Mountains into Sydney about lunchtime.

The diesel engine went in backwards to terminate at Central Station. The symbol of the Indian Pacific Train is the Wedge-tail Eagle. Australia's largest eagle. Its massive 2 m wing span symbolises the train spanning the continent.
The en-suite on board was extremely tiny and I was looking forward to a nice warm shower and a change of clothes. We said good bye to our friends who were flying home to Brisbane. We were going to our daughter and SIL's for a few days before flying home.

Bill loves trains and he was keen to try out this famous Aussie train. I warned him not to expect it to be as good as the super European trains that he was used to in Switzerland and Europe. We enjoyed the experience but we wouldn't like to do the 3 day trip across the country. Take a minute's train trip with us on Bill's short video.

30 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hi Diane, this sounds like a fun trip. I have not been on a train overnight, I would have trouble sleeping too. The scenery of the countryside is pretty! Wonderful photos and memories of your trip. Happy Sunday or is it Happy Monday there?

Filip Demuinck said...

The dining car looks comfortable and classy. We never went on holiday by train except a sleep train to move from one place to the other.

Greetings,
Filip

rkbsnana said...

Hmmmm. Hadn't thought about a train trip. Looks like a nice ride. The scenery sure was pretty.

Sara said...

Trains are an adventure all by themselves I think. I once took a 3-day train trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans, but could not afford the sleeper, so tried to sleep in my coach seat. I had two teenagers traveling with me also. Not fun at all! Wouldn't mind trying a cross country trip with a sleeper car however, at least once in my life.

Denise said...

This sounds like fun but I think I would have had trouble sleeping on them too. I've never been on a train in the US but traveled by them a lot when I lived in the UK.

MTWaggin said...

What fun! LOVED the video and thanks for the short ride.

Andrew said...

Pity the train was so good for sleeping. Do you think it was because of poor track or it being an old train? We travelled overnight in a train in Vietnam and it was very smooth but very very noisy at speed. I have subsequently learnt that the problem is corrugated rail that needs to be ground flat. It was some time ago, so maybe it is better now.

jennyfreckles said...

I'd love to ride a sleeper train, just for the experience (preferably the Orient Express- ha!). In this country you'd be at the other end of the land by morning!

yevisha said...

great blog Diane. we did the trip to sydney thirty years ago. it was horribly uncomfortable. i expect it's much better now. sleep didn't come. :) i love Bill's video. short but sweet

wilbo43 said...

Andrew, the problem with the Indian-Pacific is the track. Many years lying in the hot sun has probably buckled the rail tracks, as a consequence the train shakes and rattles it is difficult to have a drink in the dining room without spilling half onto the table or down your shirt. Sleeping wa impossible. I honestly can't understand that people can do this for 3 days and 3 nights. One was quite enough for me. The carriages are old but reasonably comfortable. The food was good.

Jo-Anne's Rambling said...

I would love to travel on the Indian Pacific, it is something tha tis on my bucket list

Colin (HB) said...

Back!!!!
Well, first Bill is absolutely correct regarding the heat stress on the rail lines. I was only informed this morning of this by the local station master here regarding the late running of trains due to the rain. The traction for the wheels don't work as well and heat buckles the rail lines!
I am a bit disappointed with the dining and lounge cars, certainly not "the Orient Express"!
So if you think that was bad, then don't travel on the Sunlander to Cairns - it would be a nightmare experience. My first class cabin was so small that even a cat would not have fitted in with me.
The "exotic" train that was the replacement, the so-called "Pacific Orient" or some such name, based on the original Orient Express is now rotting in the railway yards of Ipswich!
The cost in building these carriages was exorbitant.
Colin (HB)

FruitCake said...

When I was much younger I loved taking the Overland from Melbourne to Adelaide. The steady clickety clack always induced a really deep and refreshing sleep.
Since then, the gaps in the rails have been closed up, eliminating the noise that was a big part of the treat. This, I think someone told me, has been the cause of the rails buckling, as there is no longer room for them to contract and expand as the weather fluctuates.
But... I love riding on any train except our suburban network here.

Kath said...

Nice video by Bill!

I had a friend who did the three day Ghan trip and he said, 'never again'. Just too uncomfortable with no sleep and sitting down for that long. Then again, he did love the scenery though and ticked off another item on his bucket list.

RoeH said...

Oh wow! How I loved trains. I even loved sleeping on them although you're right - it was hard to do in ways. I had a compartment a few times. I've toyed with training (new word?) to DC to see my kids but it is incredibly expensive. Much more than planes now. So sad. America pulled up nearly all the rails in the country when planes came into being. What a stupid thing they did.

Gattina said...

I love travelling by train ! and especially old once ! What a nice trip that was !

Sallie (FullTime-Life.com said...

Nice trip! The train looks like one of the elegant ones from earlier times -- very nice. I loved Bill's video, very professional!

I wonder if you would get more used to the rocking by the second night? We took an Amtrak across country once, had a sleeper like you did and the second night and after) were better (we were much younger then though, so who knows now?)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hello There, Since I've been away from blogging for a week, I have alot of catching up to do. We had a wonderful trip to Arkansas --but it's great to visit with my blog friends. Hope things are going well with you.

I have a real love for trains. My Dad (as I've said many times) worked for the railroad --and we did alot of traveling by train when I was young... Such great memories...

Looks like you all enjoyed your trip, even if it was too bumpy to sleep!!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Carletta said...

I only time I was on a train overnight was my 8th grade school trip to Washington, DC. We caught the train about 10pm and rode all night. It was exciting to be with classmates and I don't even recall sleeping at all. Walked around DC all day and rode the train back home that night.
I'm glad you enjoyed your experience even without a lot of sleep.

whiteangel said...

Not much room in there, however, a good experience I imagine.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I'm jealous. We absolutely intend to do this trip one day and we say so every time we see it crossing the mountains.

Fun60 said...

Loved the photos of the train journey. My overnight experience of a train was from Beijing tp Xian in China. Quite an experience especially when you share a cabin with people you don't know who happen to snore!

GardenofDaisies said...

What a fun an adventure! (Even if it wasn't the most comfortable ride.) My most fascinating train adventure was the year I turned 16, and my family and I took an EARLY morning train (not a tourist train) along with the native Peruvians and their chickens and pigs and other assorted animals, up the Urubamba River valley from Cuzco to Machu Picchu. A trip I will never forget!

Red Nomad OZ said...

20 short years ago when I was about 5 (joke! It was WAAAAY longer ago than that!) we travelled on the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth. As a child it seemed like a glorious adventure and one day I'll do it again to either prove or disprove that theory!!

annj said...

Did enjoy the long version of the train ride, in retrospect. Sleepers are being replaced with concrete ones so NEXT TIME Bill will enjoy it better. Have heard honey-mooning men enjoy it!

Michele said...

I loved the video! One of my fondest wishes is that when I (finally) make it to Australia I'll be able to take The Ghan. I'm not sure when this will happen, but happen it will! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. It's fun to "travel" with you.

callie brady said...

Love experiencing your adventures through the wonderful photos! The train must have been interesting, but tiring... I agree... one overnight was enough. Pretty train! I love the sculptures at the Mall! Have a lovely visit with family!

Susan said...

Hi Diane, I've been back several times now and my silly computer (satellite) will not bring up your youtube or half your photos. I'm going to comment anyway from what I can upload!
That train trip sounds so beaut - and seeing the country that way would have been lovely. I always enjoy train travel, just something about it! Cheerio, Susan

Marja said...

wow that's a long train trip. i love to travel by train as well here they don't have much of a train track Nice to have a dining room in the train but you need that on such a long trip

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I enjoyed Bill's video and I could see how the train had a lot of vibration thta must have made it difficult to sleep soundly. The ride looks interesting --much easier than driving a car!