Australia Welcomes One of the Longest Passenger Trains of All Time

australian outback
Photo by Hawkins

by William Morris, The Daily Telegraph, May 25, 2016

The Ghan, the legendary Aussie train that links Darwin in the north to Adelaide, 1,850 miles away in the south, is to become one of the world’s longest trains this summer.

Consisting of 44 carriages and two locomotives, the train will spend nine weeks running at 1,096 metres in length – more than 200m longer than usual.

The train will spend nine weeks running at 1,096 metres in length. The extension will make the service Australia’s longest passenger train.

Elsewhere around the world, only freight trains can compete with the Ghan’s 1.1km length, with the nearest recorded services being those of long-distance journeys in India that regularly measure up to 600 metres.

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The Ghan’s summer service will include 22 guest carriages, six restaurant carriages and five lounge carriages, alongside crew, "powervan" and luggage carriages. It will weigh 2,156 tonnes.

When embarking and disembarking, passengers must wait their turn as the train moves in sections across three platforms.

Staff on-board, of which there will be 55, will make 1,300 beds, serve 100kg of barramundi and cook more than 3,000 eggs over the course of the three-day journey.

Great rail journeys

The Ghan is considered to be one of the world’s best rail journeys .

“Australia’s red centre is one of the most spectacular wildernesses in the world, and the Ghan is unquestionably the most comfortable way to see it,” said Telegraph Travel’s rail expert Anthony Lambert.

You could be waiting a while

“It is named after the Afghans who helped to open up the Australian interior on camels imported from India.

“Added to the allure of the outback is Alice Springs, a town of only 27,000 people that is known the world over as a symbol of isolation – so much so that even the philosopher Bertrand Russell had to go and see it for himself in 1950. From Alice, as the locals call it, you can visit the world’s largest monolith, Uluru, or Ayers Rock.”

Rail journeys you've never heard of

Other train records include a one-off length record set in Belgium in 1991 when a Ghent-Oostende service ran with 70 passenger cars at 1,733m.

The apparent record for a freight train is set at 7,353m on an iron ore rail service to Port Hedland in Western Australia.  

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This article was written by Hugh Morris from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.