"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

All Aboard!!!!

I am still in Perth, its Saturday and I'm Due to train out at 11-50 AM tomorrow, the reversal of my plan to fly home came as a result of Alan's ability to unravel the rail site on the internet so the fare dropped from $2300 to $1400 and I can accept that... so we are of on an adventure tomorrow.... I expect this to be a photo extravaganza so look forward to lots of pics!!!!!
Train Travel, the ultimate way to traverse this large continent.
First up a few facts and figures…

Our journey is Perth WA (west coast, Indian Ocean) to Sydney NSW (east coast, Pacific Ocean) Via Adelaide SA a distance of 4352 klm, this takes almost 3 days and nights (65 hrs) through some of the most remote parts of Australia.
Our train has 16 carriages pulled by a single engine is 476 Metres long and weighs in at about 796 tonnes, when its busy they couple 2 engines together and put 25 carriages behind them it then comes in at 711 Metres and weighs about 1,375 Tonnes                   
I have a COMPACT but comfortable cabin, excellent meals and the train staff  are very friendly and efficient group of people.
Because there is a single track with lots of sidings to allow oncoming trains to pass there are many brief stops along the way, most of the rail traffic is freight trains but we did pass the other “Indian Pacific” on its way to Perth from Sydney,
Our first official stop was at Kalgoorlie where there was a moonlight tour of the city know as the “Golden Mile” because of the staggering amount of gold that has been taken from this area, having on a recent trip done a similar tour in daylight hours I didn’t bother with this one.
Our next stop was at Cook a thriving community, population 5, which while it doesn’t sound all that impressive it dwarfs its nearest neighbour Forrest , which has a population of 2, their responsibility is to maintain a civil airstrip which rivals the length of some city airstrips, Cook on the other hand was built to house railway workers back in the early 1900s when the rail link was being built, it still serves as a refuelling and water take on point.
As previously mentioned I am writing this as it happens as I can’t post it until we get to a more civilised part of the country so for now that’s all there is!!!
We are now stopped at Adelaide (capitol city of SA) where the time is 10AM there has been a complete change over of the train staff (they also seem to be quite nice so no problems there) last night I slept a little better than on the first night, I’m guessing that the body gradually gets used to the constant movements and sounds, it is a very quiet train helped no doubt by double glazed windows.
Favourite daughter is often in Adelaide but no such luck this time when I rang her, never mind she was at the wedding so its not long since I’ve seen her.
Have had 2 nights and almost 2 days on board the Indian Pacific and have loved it, plenty of new people to meet and chat with great meals and a very relaxing way to cross the country.
Its now Wednesday evening and I’m in Sydney NSW, the last day on the Indian Pacific was not as good as the first 2 mainly because we seemed to rock and roll most of the day, the track needs some maintenance and this added to the fact that the new train crew were not as good as the first lot, I think we got the very best first and there wasn’t anywhere for the others to go but down.
Now I have to wait until the morning to take the final leg home, well to Brisbane anyway as that’s where my car is, having decided on a train trip I figured I’d go the whole hog and finish by rail, the direct trip travelled all night… no scenery… So I’m going in daylight as far as Casino in NSW then by bus to Brisbane (about 150 klms).
So while I have good internet access I’ll post this lot and finish up later with the last bit of the trip and some photos.

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