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Amazing Australian Rail Journeys
This train ran from Adelaide, S.A. to Alice Springs, N.T.
but since end 2003 has been continued another 1420 km. all the way to
the top to Darwin. It now stretches nearly 3000 km. and is named the Ghan
after the Afghan camel drivers that first opened up the harsh central
desert territory thanks to their camels.
Once upon a time some people thought they had a great idea and instead of sailing ships from England all the way around Cape York and down the east coast they would land them at Normanton in the Gulf country and then travel down to Sydney and Melbourne by train. The original plan was to build the railway to Mount Isa to link up with the existing line but then gold was discovered in Croydon so the plans were changed and 140 km. of rail to Croydon was laid, but then the gold ran out again and so did the money and the rail way has never been linked to any other network. Train enthusiasts come from all over the world to ride this train which only does a couple of runs every week. Though this may be a remote location and a trip that is not connected to the rest of the network around the country, this train is fully booked a lot of the time throughout the dry season. Another interesting fact is that this railway has steel sleepers instead of timber ones.
The train journey between Sydney, N.S.W. and Perth, W.A.
covers a distance of 4353 km. It is the longest and one of the greatest
rail journeys on earth; an ocean to ocean cross-continent adventure in
a comfortable three day journey.
The Kuranda railway was a great achievement at the time, long before many modern day machinery was invented thousands of labourers built this railway, including several tunnels, through the mountainous terrain. Up in the rainforest village Kuranda you can browse the markets for crafts and souvenirs and then return on the Skyrail. Buses will take you from the Skyrail base station back to the city again. More info....
Northern Territory Railway
After more than a hundred years of talking about it the N.T. railway has finally been built and was completed in October 2003. By November 2003 already five million dollars in bookings was made for the first passenger service planned to start around february 2004. See the Ghan above or read more on this engineering feat...
Puffing Billy, Victoria
Puffing Billy is Australia's oldest steam train and runs from Belgrave to Gembrook through the the scenic mountains and valleys of the Dandenongs 40 km. east of Melbourne. Click here for more info...
Tasmania's West Coast Wilderness Railway
Tasmania's West Coast Railway
Runs from Cairns to the tiny town of Forsayth and vice versa. Passengers can overnight in the Einasleigh Hotel, a rambling hotel being restored by an antique dealer in a near ghost town of 40 residents. Main tourist attraction of this town, besides the pub, is the gorge across the road from the pub. The only other highlight, the leaning townhall, started to lean a bit too much a few years back and fell over, narrowly missing the pub.
Zig Zag Railway, New South Wales
The track passes over three magnificent sandstone viaducts,
through two tunnels. There are striking views over the surrounding countryside.In
1972 a group of railway enthusiasts formed a Co-operative, started to
rebuild the track and buy suitable rolling stock. The Zig Zag Railway
Co-op Ltd. still owns and operates the railway. Trains first ran again
in 1975 on Middle Road only. In 1986-7, with the aid of a NSW Bicentennial
Grant, the track was extended along Top Road to Clarence, opening in 1988.
Until 1994 the railway operated on weekends, public holidays and NSW school holidays only using steam. Since then the railway has expanded operations and now runs daily with vintage diesel Railmotors providing midweek services.More info...
Have you been on any amazing Australian rail journeys?
Are you a railway enthusiast and would like to contribute to this page?
Then contact us!