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Author Topic: The Ghan, Australia's Greatest Train Journey - BBC Four, 28th October 2018  (Read 1176 times)
bignosemac
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« on: October 28, 2018, 07:01:44 pm »

A three hour (!!!) documentary tonight, 28th October 2018, 8pm on BBC Four, about The Ghan, a trans-Australian train that runs between Adelaide, South Australia and Darwin, Northern Territory. Over 1800 miles. Long journey so I suppose it warrents a three hour broadcast.

From the BBC:
Quote
The Ghan follows one of the world's great rail journeys, taking viewers on an immersive and visually stunning ride on Australia's most iconic passenger trains. Known as the Ghan, it travels for 2979 kilometres over 54 hours from the bottom to the top of the country. It begins in the suburban city of Adelaide, traversing a seemingly endless outback that includes the magnificent red centre, ending in the tropical coastal town of Darwin at the north western tip of Australia. The transcontinental train line led to the development of central Australia and the growth of towns along its path - Port Augusta, Alice Springs and Darwin. It took an epic 127 years to complete and was constructed by local Aboriginal surveyors and early immigrants, including the famous Afghan camel drivers, after whom the train is named.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2018, 07:22:25 pm »

Long journey so I suppose it warrents a three hour broadcast.

I was going to watch the documentary about the Stourbridge Town branch ... but I blinked and missed it.  Grin

Thanks for the Ghan headline - think I will watch.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 07:45:19 pm »

Perhaps you will find yourself stuck on Channel 5's Paddington Station 24/7 for an extra three hours tomorrow (or will it be Reading Station 24/7)? Cheesy
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eightf48544
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2018, 08:46:44 pm »

just seen 5 minutes completely boring long train going fairly slowly through the desert.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2018, 09:02:27 pm »

just seen 5 minutes completely boring long train going fairly slowly through the desert.

You missed the interesting bit from 56:45 to 57:05 then
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2018, 09:07:41 pm »

Having experienced the Darwin to Adelaide run twice now, I would recommend the experience to anybody. Whilst the on-train accommodation may not be quite Orient Express standard, the off-train experiences are almost out of this world. If you get the opportunity, go for it!

From the lounge car, watching the world go by, I think you will get to understand why the Australian Outback has been described as 'a million varieties of nothing!'.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 09:13:34 pm by PhilWakely » Logged
rogerpatenall
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 04:31:52 pm »

Wow. I have watched the first thirty minutes or so. What would have been interesting would be seeing how the medical team on the train coped with all the passengers who must have swooned and got over heated on getting a distant view of a wind farm.

And then the suspense. Would we actually see the blade on display in the village, or not? Was it just a typical Channel 9 tease? Oh. the waiting. And then WE DID. Such joy. I have had to switch it off to recover from it all.

But, you know what? I expect I will watch more, having first raided the tranquilliser cupboard.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 04:56:33 pm »

Wow. I have watched the first thirty minutes or so. What would have been interesting would be seeing how the medical team on the train coped with all the passengers who must have swooned and got over heated on getting a distant view of a wind farm.

And then the suspense. Would we actually see the blade on display in the village, or not? Was it just a typical Channel 9 tease? Oh. the waiting. And then WE DID. Such joy. I have had to switch it off to recover from it all.

But, you know what? I expect I will watch more, having first raided the tranquilliser cupboard.

One of the great beauties of public transport travel is that you can read, chat with your companions, walk around a go to the loo, and sleep - secure in the knowledge that you're not endangering anyone by so doing (unless you're driving said piece of public transport).

I spent the first hour or so watching, wondering things like:

"Do they have selective door opening?"

"Why can't Cross Country get many all-the-way passengers from the South West to Scotland when the Australians seem able to make a go of a 38 carriage train all the way across the Continent?"

"What is the torque like on corners with such a long train?"

I then dozed off ... and as proof that, indeed, falling asleep on the Ghan isn't dangerous, I woke again as the train approached Darwin.    Which left me with the question

"Are Alice's Springs compression, torsion or extension ones?"  ... was anyone there with us and awake to tell me?

Lisa likened it to the time she came with me to a railway society meeting at which we sat through two hours of the recorded sounds of passing trains.   I admit I could listen to a thumper for hours ... but it's not everyone's cup of tea, and I suggest that this program was the same.   Perhaps the Indian Pacific will be next in the series, and may attract a wider audience?

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rogerpatenall
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2018, 05:49:36 pm »

I agree, Grahame. I have already seen another 30 minutes. I would like to have seen more about 'life on the train', but perhaps I have got that to look forward to.

I enjoy long journeys. I have done all the US transcons, at least twice (The Zephyr and The Eagle and The Empire Builder multiple times), and the Coast Starlight 5 times (Once Southbound to Salinas, otherwise the full route). In 1961, aged 16, I did The Canadian. Far more intrigued by the Prairies than the Rockies which is probably why I ended up working for a Baker for 35 years.

Each journey was absolute magic, and every one different. And a wonderful Memory Bank to support me through retirement.

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bignosemac
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2018, 07:38:53 pm »

I watched the first 'part' last night, from Adelaide to the driver change at Port Augusta. About 65 minutes of the three hours.

Nothing much happened, but that's not the point. It's the sort of reality TV that is immersive because of, not in spite of, its simplicity. No annoying voiceover, no false jeopardy, no ad breaks, no attempt to make characters out of those featured. Just engaging imagery and informative captioned facts and figures.

Did anyone else find themselves counting the vehicles in the consist every time there was a passing shot of the entire train?

Perfect TV to watch as a wind down before bed. The television equivalent of a calming warm mug of Horlicks. Just like the similar feature of a journey along the the Kennet & Avon canal shown on BBC Four last year.

Onward to Alice Springs tonight before bed.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2018, 09:39:02 pm »

Wow. I have watched the first thirty minutes or so. What would have been interesting would be seeing how the medical team on the train coped with all the passengers who must have swooned and got over heated on getting a distant view of a wind farm.

And then the suspense. Would we actually see the blade on display in the village, or not? Was it just a typical Channel 9 tease? Oh. the waiting. And then WE DID. Such joy. I have had to switch it off to recover from it all.

But, you know what? I expect I will watch more, having first raided the tranquilliser cupboard.



Lisa likened it to the time she came with me to a railway society meeting at which we sat through two hours of the recorded sounds of passing trains.   I admit I could listen to a thumper for hours ... but it's not everyone's cup of tea, and I suggest that this program was the same.   Perhaps the Indian Pacific will be next in the series, and may attract a wider audience?



Dammit Graham - you sure know how to show a girl a good time!

It's no wonder the ladies are putty in the hands of Melksham's own Errol Flynn! 😉
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