Indian Pacific

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by cls, 8 Oct 2017.

  1. cls

    cls Member

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    Anyone on here done the Indian Pacific , considering doing Sydney to Perth ...... looks great but expensive. Looking at catching in January time .Any comments good or bad appreciated.
     
  2. theageofthetra

    theageofthetra Established Member

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    Save your money and fly. Use the time saved to visit the numerous excellent preserved lines in Australia and the heritage railtours offered. Though I wouldn't recommend Jan as very strong risk of total fire bans curtailing steam operations (Tas mostly excepted)

    Spring is best before any school hols.
     
  3. signol

    signol Member

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    A long time ago (2002) I did Sydney - Adelaide on it, in a seat. Some nice scenery through the Outback, but it did go on for a long time! Train stopped for an hour or so at Broken Hill, time for a very quick look around but not much more than that.

    signol
     
  4. ian959

    ian959 Member

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    Done the trip a number of times and always found it a great time. Totally relaxing, great onboard service and some great scenery. Some people find the journey from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie boring but I love the outback and the Nullarbor Plain is about as outback as it gets. Heading westbound you get two decent stops - Broken Hill and Adelaide - when you can do off train excursions. There is the obligatory stop at Cook which in January would be very hot! Nothing much left at Cook nowadays as it is solely used as a crew change stop with drivers accommodation and to refuel the locomotives. Overall it is a great railway journey that any serious train enthusiast should do at least once.
     
  5. FQTV

    FQTV Member

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    +1

    I have only done it once, Westbound, in 2003, (when it was a lot cheaper).

    I wouldn't have missed it for the world, especially the Nullarbor crossing. It's the only practical way to fully appreciate the sheer scale of the country.

    Bill Bryson covers it in his book 'Notes from a Big Island'.

    He compares it (favourably) to a glimpse of what your life will be like when you're in your 80s and living in a nursing home.
     
  6. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    I would love to do the Indian Pacific and the Ghan too, trouble is I really don't like the thought of the very long flights needed to get to Australia from the UK.
     
  7. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Like the irony that you really want to spend 4 days on a train, but not the spend 17hours on a plane to get there!
     
  8. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I did the Ghan starting from Darwin in October 2015, it was an absolutely amazing experience. One of the main reasons I did that route was to minimise the time spent flying, I flew to Singapore and spent a few days there, and then travelled on to Darwin with SilkAir which only takes 4 Hours 40 Min, so if you don't like the idea of a prolonged flight you could always go that way.
    It's a bit different flying though, for one there's nothing really to look at out of the window which is what I always find makes the time drag. The Ghan and the IP isn't just a train journey, more like a cruise on land (except without the swimming pool!), and the trip includes scheduled stop offs and tours included in the price of the ticket. When I did my trip it included a Katherine gorge boat trip and walk, a tour of Alice Springs and a stop off in the middle of nowhere to have a talk from an astronomer and look at the stars.
     
    Last edited: 12 Oct 2017
  9. signol

    signol Member

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    You can get to Indonesia overland, then only need to fly the last short hop to Darwin.

    signol
     
  10. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    I've done the Ghan myself. Whilst it was a great experience, it's fair to say there's not much to see out of the window of it either. Once you've seen half an hour of big red desert, you've had enough. As an aside, it's only a booked 5h flight from Singapore to Perth, albeit we did it in 4 1/2.
     
  11. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Established Member

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    Re above comments. I like travelling by trains, but don't like flying, especially long flights. Yes flying into Darwin, doing the Ghan, to Adelaide, then by train to Melbourne, over to Sydney followed by IP to Perth and fly back from Perth to London or VV, could be a possibility with stops in Singapore / Sri Lanka / Middle East.
     
  12. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Non-stop flights to/from Perth start in Msrch next year. Before then your best bet is via Singapore.

    If you want to do Adelaide - Melbourne - Sydney overland, I recommend driving via the coast route. It's about 24 hours of driving, but you'll need to take at least 5 days to do it justice, plus more if you want to see Melbourne properly. There is some truly stunning scenery, which you don't see from the train.
     
  13. LesS

    LesS Member

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    The ownership of the IP changed a couple of years ago. Serco sold to a private equity group. They have removed the sitting cars from services.
    Many non-railfan passengers find the long run over the Nullabor boring and uninteresting. Personally I love it. The fares are expensive and there is little by way of discounts. Overall the Ghan is a better experience.

    January is mid summer and very hot. The stopover at Cook will be unpleasant. Daytime temperatures everywhere will be in the 30's. There is likely to be little by way of steam heritage working. This is the maintenance season. Puffing Billy in Melbourne will probably run unless there are fire bans. There are likely to be some diesel heritage operations.
     

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