Trains are nothing new and are actually the lifeline of several countries. Most of the people who have been on trains will remember the extensive journeys they have taken. What if you can take a train journey through a continent like Australia? The Ghan Australia actually makes this possible by giving you different routes that you can take. It is an extensive railway experience that takes you through the parts of Australia that no other way will. When you visit Australia, this is definitely a must do a thing if you seriously want to enjoy the place to its full potential. So, let us know a little bit more about this train.
About The Ghan
The Ghan is basically an Australian passenger train service. It takes people from Adelaide to Darwin or vice versa. In the middle, it provides a four-hour stopover at Alice Springs. It takes 54 hours to complete the whole journey which spans 2,979 KM or 1851 miles in total. You will often hear the tagline ‘The Ghan Australia’s Greatest Train Journey’ from people who have taken the journey. It started operating in 1929. In the year 1997 it was privatized and now the Great Southern Railway takes care of it. The Ghan is the shortened form of the ‘The Afghan Railways’ which was popularised by the staffs and the name remained. Like several other heritage railway journeys, this is one that people should include in their travel bucket list. The train is 774 meters long and operates on the average speed of 85 KM per hour while the maximum speed is 115 KM per hour. The number of carriages that you will find in the train is 30 which includes the passenger carriages as well as the crew quarters, restaurants, power vans and lounges. Now, the train operates on standard gauge railways which makes it smoother and faster. Darwin was added as the last point in the year 2004.
Suggested Read: 15 Scenic Trails For Hiking In Australia In 2022
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As we said above the train lives either from Adelaide or Darwin and completes its destination at Adelaide or Darwin. The two stops that they offer are at Katherine and Alice Springs. This makes the route transcontinental and you actually get to see the changing terrains as you take the journey. The journey lasting 4 days and 3 nights will have you excited about the tour. These days you can also take a journey only to Alice Springs either from Darwin or from Adelaide. Check for Darwin to Alice Springs Train or some other route if you want such a train. The route is an extensive one so you will surely want to enjoy some of the destinations. The Ghan Australia provides add-on expeditions that you can take part in when you are on the train. These packages can be pre-booked from their interactive website. The train takes you through the red outback which is an important part of Australia. You should have a look at the Ghan Train Map to have a better knowledge about the route provided by them.
When you are on this train you do not need to fret about the services. They have all kinds of options that you may need in the extensive journey. First of all, they divide their facilities by Platinum and Gold Packages.
1. Platinum Service
The platinum service is a private one where you either take a double bed or a twin bed cabin. You can configure it into a lounge at daytime and convert into a bed at night. It is quite comfortable and spacious. The platinum cabins are equipped with a complete bathroom including shower and vanity. The windows are big so that you can see the outside. You can also get specially prepared continental breakfast by requesting the staff. The luggage allowance is also more compared to the Gold cabins. Travelers will also have access to the Platinum Club where have extensive and special menu items to choose from. The train fare also includes food and alcoholic beverages.
2. Gold Service
Most people who travel on The Ghan Australia avail the Gold Service as it is quite affordable when compared to the Platinum one. In the Gold Service, you can either share the cabin with another person in the Twin Cabin or have a single cabin to yourself. One can also opt for the Gold Superior cabin which is more spacious. People who are mobility impaired can book the Gold Access Cabins which are specially designed for them. Only the Gold Single Cabin doesn’t have a toilet and they have to share it with others. The Gold Service does include all-exclusive meals at the Queen Adelaide Restaurant and also alcohols in it. They also offer bus services to selected hotels once people reach Darwin.
Along with these people also have access to normal facilities like power, water, toiletries etc. which are essential for traveling in such a train. They can consult the website to know more about these facilities so that they know about the things that they should pack.
Schedule And Price
When you are traveling in such a train you need to plan the journey ahead of time. You need to have the right idea about the cost and also its timetable. These days the Ghan does operate all year long but they do upload their timetable online so that the travelers can check and book their tickets. The Ghan Train Australia Map is beautifully displayed on their website giving all the details about the stops and also the needed information.
The average fare of the full journey for the Platinum Services will be around AUD 4199 per person in the high season and about AUD 3979 per person in the shoulder season. People availing Gold Services will need to pay about AUD 2889 for the Twin Cabin in the high season and AUD 2629 in the shoulder season. People who avail the Ghan Expedition will need to pay more for the trail along with the add-on prices for the different tours. There is also an option for buying advanced tours where the price is reduced, people should book ahead as there are limited seats available. The advance option is only for the Gold Services.
The company changes the timetable from time to time and they do update it on their website. So, check that if you are in need of the timetable of the journey.
Tips To Remember
- We recommend the interested travelers to go through the www.greatsouthernrail.com.au to have a better idea and to collect information about their journey. This is also the website where they can book their tickets.
- Another point that they should check is the allowance of baggage. As it is a long journey people may want to pack a lot of luggage. But the train does have some restrictions based on their services.
- Do pack appropriate clothes for the journey as you will halt at different areas and you may need different types of clothes.
- Drink plenty of water on this long train journey.
- If you are traveling with your baby, then do pack their essentials.
- While packing check the things that aren’t allowed on the train so that you do not face any problem prior to the commencement of the journey.
So, here are the things that you need to know about The Ghan. We hope that you are now excited to aboard the train. Book the tickets for the next possible journey and have a transcontinental expedition while you’re holidaying in Australia.
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