How to buy tickets: Just tell them what you want or ask them for their suggestions and they can make all your arrangements. The Ghan leaves Adelaide for Darwin twice each week on Friday and Sunday evenings, travels overnight to Alice Springs where it arrives around midday the next day. Your help is much appreciated. At peak times, extra trips operate departing early morning and arriving Devonport late afternoon. Sydney Metro services and stations. In August , Comeng was announced as the successful bidder and although the tender had called for vehicles, by the time the contract was signed in March , the order was only for 30, 10 power cars and 20 carriages, enough to form four five-carriage trains with two spare power cars.
You can also board these trains at Campbelltown station in Sydneys suburbs, or at one of many other stations along the way. The journey takes a little over eight hours. The train departs Sydney in the mid morning and arrives in Armidale that evening. You can also board the train at Strathfield or Hornsby station in Sydneys suburbs, at Broadmeadow in Newcastle or at one of many other stations along the way. Note that this train splits into two along the way at Werris Creek, the other half takes a more westerly route up to Moree - so make sure you stay in the right part of the train!
The journey to Bathurst takes about three and a half hours. The train departs Sydney early in the morning and arrives Bathurst in the mid morning. You can also board this train at Strathfield, Parramatta, Blacktown or Penrith station in Sydneys suburbs. You can also board this train at Strathfield, Parramatta or Penrith station. The train departs Sydney at 4: The journey takes about fourteen hours. You can also board this train at Strathfield or Hornsby station in Sydneys suburbs, at Broadmeadow in Newcastle or at one of many other stations along the way.
This train departs Sydney Central station mid afternoon on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and travels overnight for sixteen hours before arriving early morning the following day at Broken Hill. The train then continues on to Adelaide and Perth. The train departs Sydney in the afternoon, travels overnight then arrives in Brisbane early the following morning.
It travels northwards through the evening, overnight and through the next day before arriving at Cairns station late the following afternoon. This is arguably Australias most modern and technologically advanced passenger train, however it does not provide sleeping accommodation. The journey takes a little over four hours. The first train departs Sydney early each morning and arrives Canberra railway station Kingston late morning.
The second train departs Sydney Central just after midday and arrives Canberra station late afternoon. The third train departs Sydney Central in the late afternoon and arrives Canberra in the late evening.
You can also board these trains at Campbelltown station in Sydney's suburbs, or at one of a few other stations along the way. The journey on each of these trains takes eight and a half to nine hours. You can also board any of these trains at Strathfield or Hornsby station in Sydneys suburbs, at Broadmeadow in Newcastle or at one of many other stations along the way.
This train departs Sydney Central station mid afternoon on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and travels for 24 hours before arriving mid afternoon the following day at Adelaide Keswick rail terminal. In Adelaide, you leave the Indian Pacific behind and change trains into The Ghan for the journey northward through the heart of Australia to Darwin. The Ghan leaves Adelaide for Darwin twice each week on Friday and Sunday evenings, travels overnight to Alice Springs where it arrives around midday the next day.
You have four hours in Alice Springs before the train heads north again overnight to Katherine where another hour stop is scheduled on the Tuesday and Sunday morning. Finally, The Ghan departs Katherine around noon and heads to Darwin arriving there in the afternoon of each Tuesday and Sunday. The journey to Dubbo takes about six and a half hours. The train departs Sydney early in the morning at 7: At Casino at 6: The whole journey from Sydney takes about fifteen hours - of which only the final two and a half hours is on the bus.
Departing Sydney Central station each Saturday morning, the train travels through the day before arriving Griffith in the late afternoon. The drop-down sink in single-berth roomette. If you're travelling alone in Gold Service, you'll get a cosy private roomette. Roomette sleeping-cars have a corridor snaking through the centre of the car in a series of gentle 's' curves with doors to the roomettes opening off both sides of it the curves in the corridor maximise the space in each roomette, by making it wider at the head end.
Each roomette is only about 7 feet long by 4 feet wide, just big enough for a comfy armchair, a table, and a drop-down sink in one corner, though the drop-down flush toilet originally fitted underneath each sink is now boarded up out of use.
At night, the bed folds down from behind the seat and takes up most of the room. Platinum service sleeper Certain departures of the Ghan and Indian Pacific now feature a new ultra-luxurious and expensive! Platinum Service, with a choice of double-bed or twin-bed sleeper compartments with private shower and toilet and extra space even compared to Gold Service.
As with Gold Service, meals are included in the fare, served in the Queen Adelaide restaurant, and Platinum passengers may use the Outback Explorer Lounge with bar. You'll have to use the journey planner at www.
Platinum twin sleeper , in daytime mode. Platinum twin sleeper , in night mode. Platinum double bed sleeper , in daytime mode. Photos courtesy of James Chuang Back to top. By using the train you get a real feel for the scale of the Australian outback, which you simply don't on a plane.
Most departures of the Ghan now have an additional class of accommodation, the new super-deluxe Platinum Class complete with double or twin lower beds. The Ghan gets its name from the supposedly Afghan camels and camel drivers who used to carry supplies up to Alice Springs before the railway came. The first railway was narrow gauge, and the old Ghan was notoriously slow, taking 48 hours from Adelaide to Alice. Only in the early s was this new standard-gauge line opened taking a more direct route.
The journey time has been cut to an afternoon and a night, and the service doubled to twice weekly for much of the year. The railway onwards to Darwin was completed in January , and in February that year the Ghan was extended to Darwin once a week, doubled to twice-weekly in Book early, as there has been huge interest in the service to Darwin and bookings have exceeded even Great Southern Rail's expectations.
When the Ghan Expedition doesn't run The Ghan will not run from 16 Dec to 12 Jan The Ghan only runs once a week now, the extra summer departure that has run in previous years has not run for several years. Off-train excursions are available at the longer stops.
What's it like on board The Ghan? One-way fares in AUD, per person Platinum. In Platinum class, a solo passenger pays double the price. Children under 4 go free. To buy Australian train tickets by phone in the UK, call International Rail on 3 , lines open You need to buy regular tickets to use the Indian Pacific or Ghan. If you want a train travel expert to arrange your Australian trip for you, with trains, stopovers, hotels, transfers and if necessary flights all sorted, train travel specialist www.
Just tell them what you want or ask them for their suggestions and they can make all your arrangements. UK call , www. US call free , www. Canada call free , www. Australia call toll-free , www. New Zealand call toll-free or see website. If you'd like to travel with a convivial group of travellers escorted by a professional tour guide, contact Great Rail Journeys at www.
What's it like on board the Ghan? The train has similar classes, sleepers, lounges and restaurants as the Indian Pacific , see the accommodation guide above The Ghan, en route to Australia's Red Centre Ayer's Rock Uluru , miles southwest of Alice, see www.
The Alice, as it's usually known, still has a frontier feel to it. Originally called Stuart and only officially renamed Alice Springs in , it grew up around a telegraph station on the overland telegraph linking southern Australia with London.
You can still see the telegraph station, now a museum, at the North end of the town. Next to it pictured above, at the base of the white rock is the very birthplace of the town - the original, dried up 'Alice spring'. Telegraph station museum website. Northern Territories official visitor website.
You'll want to explore the outback whilst in Alice Springs, including Uluru, the world's largest sandstone monolith. It's some miles southwest of Alice - the outback is a big place!
You're still allowed to climb Uluru, a steep scramble along the tourist track up the least perpendicular part of its sandstone sides - however, aboriginal people request that you don't. The most civilised and pleasant way to travel between central Melbourne and central Adelaide is aboard the twice-a-week Overland , no need to use domestic flights.
It's the third of the three trains run by www. One-way fare Red Premium seat:. Southern Cross is the new name for Melbourne's refurbished Spencer Street station. You can check fares and buy tickets for the Overland online at www. Or reliable Melbourne-based agency www. To buy Australian train tickets in the UK by phone, call International Rail on 3, lines open The Overland has spacious and comfortable Red Service standard class reclining seats with loads of legroom, and deluxe Red Premium first class reclining seats with even more room and at-seat meal service included in the fare.
All passengers can access the licensed buffet-bar. See a review of a journey on the Overland on Tripadvisor. The Emu logo on the stainless steel cars of the Overland from Melbourne to Adelaide. Red class second class seating on the Overland. Far more civilised than flying or a nightmare bus journey. Comfortable air-conditioned trains link Sydney with Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, city centre to city centre, with no need to fly!
A similar daytime and overnight XPT service links Sydney to Brisbane, although as trains alternate between Brisbane and Casino, a bus connection is needed to Brisbane on one of the two. This is a 2-berth sleeper on the overnight train from Sydney to Melbourne or from Sydney to Brisbane.
Photo courtesy of Rail Australia Xplorer train from Sydney to Canberra. The seating is similar to that on XPTs. Courtesy of Rail Australia Check times before travel at www. The ridiculous early arrival in Brisbane is due to local politicos forcing the XPT out of peak arrival times in preference to mere local trains.
Always times at www. One-way fares per person: How to buy tickets: Tickets bought online are sent by e-mail. XPT trains might look familiar.
That's because they're based on the UK's InterCity , but re-geared to mph and with you'll be pleased to learn XPTs have first and economy class reclining seats. But that's the only difference, elbow room and the seats themselves are exactly the same. So there is little point in paying for first class unless economy is full - or you want that extra recline on the overnight run.
XPTs have a buffet car selling food and drink, including wine. Photos courtesy of James Chuang. First class seats on an XPT above right are virtually identical to Economy above left , there's just an extra 2" of legroom and a 40 degree rather than 28 degree recline.
A sofa converts to a lower berth and an upper berth folds out from the wall, with mattress and all necessary bedding. Book early, as there's only one sleeping-car per train and it gets booked up fast. The 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road You can hire a car and drive it, or there are various 1-day bus tours from Melbourne. You take the daily The train is comfortable and air-conditioned.
Economy seats only, no reservation required. No reservation is required for this bus. At Warrnambool, the bus connects with the This comfortable air-conditioned train has first class as well as economy seats, refreshments are available on board.
However, on this train a seat reservation is required. You can easily book this trip online at www. Simply click 'Buy tickets' and use the journey planner to book a return ticket from Melbourne Southern Cross to Warrnambool, making sure it's on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
Make sure you select the For general tourist information about the Great Ocean Road, see See www. Sydney is a fantastic city. Take a tour of the opera house www. Wander through the botanic gardens.
Visit the observation deck of the Centrepoint Tower www. Take a ferry from Circular Quay to Watson's Bay for fish and chips at Doyle's famous refreshment rooms www. For general city tourist information see www. Why not do the incredible Sydney Harbour Bridge climb pictured, right?
The bridge climb tour has been operating since October Book your climb online here or visit www. Looking for a scenic day out from Sydney? Hop on a double-deck suburban train from Sydney to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, Children under 16 half fare, children under 4 free. A short walk from the station brings you to the Three Sisters rock formation, overlooking the breathtaking Jamieson Valley, with lots of great scenic walks.
Don't forget to visit the museum in Melbourne's old gaol , www. Ned Kelly, Australia's most infamous outlaw, was imprisoned and hanged in Melbourne gaol, and his unique armour was originally displayed there pictured, right. Take a ride on Melbourne's trams there's even a restaurant in a tram - eat your dinner travelling round the Melbourne streets, book a tramcar meal online here or see www. For general tourist information, see www. For a day or two out of town, drive the famous Great Ocean Road.
Admirably well laid-out by its founder, Colonel William Light, the city centre is surrounded by parkland. On Montefiore Hill to the north of the centre, you can see 'Light's vision', where Colonel Light stood to map out his plan for the city. For city visit information see www.
It's worth hiring a car for a few days to visit some of the wine regions nearby, including the famous Barossa Valley , see www. Perth is the capital of Western Australia, a clean, modern city - for visitor information see www.
Frequent electric trains link Perth with Fremantle, see www. In the maritime museum in Fremantle are the remains of the Dutch East India company ship Batavia pictured, right. The ship was carrying a stone arch for the main gate of the city of Batavia modern day Jakarta. Needless to say, the arch never arrived Introduced in October , this is a brand-new mph tilting train, see the photos below. For more info see www. The old Sunlander was discontinued in December , replaced by the Spirit of Queensland mph tilt train.
There are additional trains between Brisbane and Rockhampton, including a mph tilting daytime train. A little vintage stainless-steel railcar works the Savannahlander train from Cairns to Forsayth at It returns from Forsayth at A 4-day outback rail experience!
One-way fare per person: Spirit of Queensland Railbed:. Children 15 years and under pay half the adult fare, children 3 years and under go free. All seats have power sockets and airline-style seat-back TV entertainment systems. All passengers can use the lounge-cafe car, in Railbed class meals are served at your seat.
The Spirit of Queensland features flat bed seats. Above right, at night the attendant converts the Railbeds to fully-made-up beds. Although narrow gauge 3' 6" it's very comfortable! Courtesy of Peter Young. Transwa formerly known as Westrail introduced new express diesel trains on the Perth to Kalgoorlie Prospector services in September , running at up to mph.
For more info, visit www.