A transcontinental passenger train, operated by The Great Southern Rail, The Ghan is a legendary figure on the Adelaide-Darwin railway line, with halts at Alice Springs, Katherine, and Coober Pedy among many. Spanning 2,979 Kilometers in about a 55-hour journey, The Ghan’s etymology arises interesting speculations to this date. It facilitates luxurious travel along with opportunities for intricate off-board excursions, exploring interior Australia.
History of The Ghan
Casual and ribald pronunciation of originally ‘The Afghan Express’ over the time, led to its current name ‘The Ghan’. Discussions are aplenty, regarding the reason behind the naming, one being that the original name honors the early Afghan camel drivers, who penetrated the interiors of the colony, and another stating the original name as a satire on the train’s expensive services as commercially impotent in the scanty and rustic Darwin-Adelaide route. The Ghan commenced on August 1929 (Central Australian Railway) up to Alice Springs. Prior to the period, the narrow-gauge journey, ended with camel-rides from Oodnadatta to its completion. Notorious for delays due to floodwaters and pathetic passenger service, The Ghan ran on the original line until October 1980, when the construction of a standard gauge line, 99 miles west of the original one, made the train undertake its current route from Tarcoola. However, the face of the train changed with the linking of Alice Springs and Darwin (July 2001), with the first train reaching Darwin on 4 February 2004. The operation ensured greater influx of tourists and added a greater opportunity to explore interior Aboriginal culture and other aspects of the Trans-Australian region. The A$1.3Billion project also marked the fulfillment of a plan 126 years old.
On the Ghan :
The Ghan offers various service levels (Platinum, Gold, Red etc.), each providing magnificent hospitality, through an all-inclusive fare. Dining and wining facilities are splendid and Classy, with beautifully prepared meals and a breathtaking combination of Culinary and Visual delight, palate and panorama, alike. ‘Queen Adelaide Restaurant Car’ and the exclusive ‘Platinum Club’ caters to the varied tastes of passengers through Professional hands. Matilda Cafe, Cafe 828 and the Outback Explorer Lounge are other great places onboard, to relax, bond and enjoy Australia at its best, with fellow travelers while munching & sipping on the finest gastronomic ingredients Australia has to offer.
Off The Ghan :
The Ghan’s tourism potential, however, lies in the Trans-Australian route it spans. Cruising through interior Australia during the halts is a lifetime experience for many, as one doesn’t always stumbles upon an opportunity to explore the Northern Territory, Alice Springs, Uluru, Nitmiluk Gorge, Coober pedy, and other such ventures. An optional offer, it is quite a tempting one as travellers get a first-hand insight of the real ethnic Aboriginal Culture and Australia’s natural gifts with a unique perspective. Travelling throughout the interior Australia with ever-changing visual canvas, available 24/7, with an additional perk of actually getting a chance to indulge and immerse in the raw Australian nature, The Ghan is a lifeline of Australian tourism. Truly, what else can one wish within a 16 to 26 stainless steel carriages locomotive ?
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Main Image Source : Pixabay