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Poll
Question: Have you travelled on The Ghan?  (Voting closed: February 07, 2022, 09:42:29 pm)
Yes - to or from Darwin - 2 (16.7%)
Yes - but not all the way to Darwin - 0 (0%)
No - but I am booked to go - 0 (0%)
No - I expect I will sometime - 0 (0%)
No - I would love to but doubt I ever will - 7 (58.3%)
No - don't want to - 1 (8.3%)
What is "The Ghan?" - 2 (16.7%)
Total Voters: 12

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Author Topic: OTD - 3rd Feb 2004 - First passenger train to Darwin on the Ghan  (Read 710 times)
grahame
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« on: February 02, 2022, 09:42:29 pm »

from Wikipedia

Quote
Construction of Alice Springs–Darwin line was believed to be the second-largest civil engineering project in Australia, and the largest since the creation of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. Line construction began in July 2001, with the first passenger train reaching Darwin on 3 February 2004, after 126 years of planning and waiting and at a cost of $1.3 billion.

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PhilWakely
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2022, 12:07:01 pm »

I can consider myself extremely fortunate in that I have experienced the Ghan on two occasions - once back in 2009 when I took a trip to Oz to celebrate my enforced early-retirement and again in 2018, courtesy of my late mother's last wishes.

It is somewhat pricey, but well worth it if you get the opportunity. My two lasting memories of the trips are a night-time stop at Tennant Creek to wait for a northbound freight to pass - absolutely no light pollution and the night sky was unbelievably clear; and further down at Manguri Siding after an off-train excursion to Coober Pedy, waiting for a couple of hours for an unscheduled freight train - what better way to while the time away than an 'unplanned' (or so they said!) BBQ.....



Incidentally, just to prove what a small world it is in which we live.... the young couple with their backs to the camera in the foreground, accompanied me on an organised trip along the Trans-Siberian back in 2012 and I had no idea that they were on this trip!
 
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2022, 05:14:34 pm »

In 1969 I took the overnight train from Brocken Hill to Sydney.  This was shortly before the current standard gauge line was opened.  The train could have come for the western US in the 1880s.  Heating was provided by a hot brick wrapped in a blanket and the only way to change carriages was to step between the open carriage ends over the couplings.  The view from the carriage end over the outback was terrific.

I would love to do the Ghan but doubt I ever will.  I have seen TV programmes on it.
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Mark A
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2022, 10:10:06 pm »

A couple of other options needed? 'Yes, but when it only went as far as Alice'... and 'Yes, but the original route via Oodnadatta'.

(Full disclosure, I've never been on the Ghan, but was once very nearly bitten by an unstable dachsund that was prowling round some disused sidings at Tarcoola Junction. I picked up a discarded track fastening spike in case I needed to seriously defend myself, and later carried said spike back on the aircraft, something that these days would probably cause the baggage scanning people to ask questions...)
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2022, 11:26:39 am »

I too have enjoyed a trip on the Ghan - 2013 sandwiched into a business trip conference in Alice Springs. The length of the train was most impressive - not so much was the lettered coaches (Mine was L) were not in alphabetical order!  Shocked

Took the train up to Darwin with a great river tour in Katherine the following day. Prior to the trip, I went in search of the old Ghan and found my spike - sits alongside the barbed wire from a Siberian gulag.
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2022, 12:48:51 pm »

A couple of other options needed? 'Yes, but when it only went as far as Alice'... and 'Yes, but the original route via Oodnadatta'.

I think they come under "Yes - but not all the way to Darwin".  Original routing option would be just too swanky and make so many members jealous!

Quote
(Full disclosure, I've never been on the Ghan, but was once very nearly bitten by an unstable dachsund that was prowling round some disused sidings at Tarcoola Junction. I picked up a discarded track fastening spike in case I needed to seriously defend myself, and later carried said spike back on the aircraft, something that these days would probably cause the baggage scanning people to ask questions...)

 Grin Grin

Haven't I read somewhere that dachshund are the worst tempered of all dogs?
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Mark A
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2022, 06:43:47 pm »

This one was clearly under the instructions: "Should any passenger from the Indian Pacific attempt to strike up a conversation with you, advance two paces, bare your teeth and issue a loud bark immediately". It was effective.
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