So whats the Indian Pacific like?

 
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Looking forward to a trip away on the Indian Pacific with my good lady in September. Travelling both ways by train. 11 days in Perth. Gold class. Really good price, too good to miss. I hope they have a good supply of Bundy rum on board.

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  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Looking forward to a trip away on the Indian Pacific with my good lady in September. Travelling both ways by train. 11 days in Perth. Gold class. Really good price, too good to miss. I hope they have a good supply of Bundy rum on board.
"Expost"


Hope you enjoy 5 star food and service
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
Looking forward to a trip away on the Indian Pacific with my good lady in September. Travelling both ways by train. 11 days in Perth. Gold class. Really good price, too good to miss. I hope they have a good supply of Bundy rum on board.
Expost

Well since you've already bought your ticket you probably dont want to hear that it's total rubbish...

It isnt of course Razz, but my only experience of the IP is from the cab of the leading NR. The scenery is pretty nice at that time of year. I dont know what the service is like but the GSR train managers we deal with are pleasant enough.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
It is OK if you don't mind watching a replay of the same scenery over and over again.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
That's why Expost wants to know about the supply of Bundy!
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
It is OK if you don't mind watching a replay of the same scenery over and over again.
TheBlacksmith
This is the main reason the IP has never really appealed to me. If I'm taking a trip of that magnitude I would much prefer to drive to give me the freedom to stop/start/detour at my leisure. I'm that kind of guy though.

I think I might be tempted to do it one day if I drive one-way to Sydney/Perth then bring the car back on the train over the Nullarbore to avoid doing it twice.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

We could have flown back. We discounted taking our own car over, as the cost is more than hiring a car. Naah, make it a 2 way trip. We might see some stuff on the way back that we didnt see on the way over.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
make it a 2 way trip. We might see some stuff on the way back that we didnt see on the way over.
Expost
A different bottle of Bundy perhaps? DrunkMr. Green
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
A different bottle of Bundy perhaps? DrunkMr. Green
Graham4405
Do Red on way over and Black on way back.



Not sure if IP is the type of train you hop on/off more than a few locations and with a weekly frequency, probably not attractive to do that. Twice weeklys is probably ok, but spending more than a few hours in some of the stops along the way with no car, probably not much on offer.

I think as others have said, the senery doesn't change quickly even at 115km/hr so its probably also worth taking a book.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I'm afraid resources don't stretch to anything more than a red kanga here so hope you can enjoy something more comfortable and relaxing.  Not a lot wrong with the red sitters except you can be in the car with anyone who's paid a fare, little chance to escape and you can get rather saddle-sore after 3 days.  Also nothing like the glossy dining car they show in the brochures for your meals - it's a lot more basic.  It's a trip for the intrepid to do once.  Or for those who can afford it - a trip for the more affluent to do once.  See one kilometre of Nullarbor and you've seen them all Wink  Though there are the off-train tours and intermediate stops to break it up.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
So jealous!
I would l could do the full IP trip in a sleeper, but alas, $$$ prevents me from doing so Crying or Very sad
Hope you have a great time, and take plenty of nice photos! Smile
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I've done the trip in Gold class both ways, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  So will you.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Sorry to disagree with quite a number of you who see the Nullarbor as boring. The scenery/vegetation is one of somewhat imperceptible but continual change. I have not done the trip since GSR but did numerous trips in the CR/ANR days and enjoyed them thoroughly.

There is a lot to be enjoyed travelling by train with a dining car providing civilised meals and room to move either in your cabin or the lounge car.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Sorry to disagree with quite a number of you who see the Nullarbor as boring. The scenery/vegetation is one of somewhat imperceptible but continual change. I have not done the trip since GSR but did numerous trips in the CR/ANR days and enjoyed them thoroughly.

There is a lot to be enjoyed travelling by train with a dining car providing civilised meals and room to move either in your cabin or the lounge car.
YM-Mundrabilla

Finally, someone who can appreciate the contryside for what it is..beautiful and full of absolutely stunning flora and fauna Smile

I have travelled  Adelaide - Alice Springs 3 times now, once on the old Ghan, and find even in the desert, lots to see out of the window. Plants, glistening in the morning dew....different animals looking for the next meal, different colours of sand, plants Smile
  yogibarnes Locomotive Fireman

Finally, someone who can appreciate the contryside for what it is..beautiful and full of absolutely stunning flora and fauna Smile

I have travelled  Adelaide - Alice Springs 3 times now, once on the old Ghan, and find even in the desert, lots to see out of the window. Plants, glistening in the morning dew....different animals looking for the next meal, different colours of sand, plants Smile
xxxxlbear
Yep.  If you want to get a real appreciation of the gigantic size of this country, the outback generally, and the Nullabor in particular, relax in an IP seat all the way.  Emphasis is on relaxation.  Take a book or two or other distractions to help you unwind between occasionally looking out the window to see if anything has changed.  Otherwise, search the horizon for camels, dingos, eagles, even a tree!  Oh, and don't forget to say g'day to the other passengers.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Sorry to disagree with quite a number of you who see the Nullarbor as boring.
YM-Mundrabilla
I have the motto "everything is interesting". Of course some things are more interesting than others... Wink
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Last August I travelled on the Overland from Melbourne to Adelaide then, after 4 nights, the Ghan to Darwin and following 3 weeks in a motorhome and a flight Broome to Perth (another 4 nights) I travelled on the IP back to Sydney. I thoroughly enjoyed it and did not read much of my novels, during daylight hours, found the scenery interesting most of the time. The company in the lounge cars and dining cars was generally pleasant.
Only thing, I travelled in the single roomette cars and they were very disappointing. I met another man travelling single who had paid for a double and I regretted not having paid the extra.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Thanks for all the replys. We love travelling, often holidays are driving trips for weeks and weeks.We recently did 1800km in a weekend, just to run some KMs up on one of my lease vehicles.

I will enjoy letting someone else do the driving for once. Hopefully I might sneak a peek in a loco cab at some time. For my wife, it will be even more of an adventure,  as she hasnt travelled long distance by train for at least 30 years. I am sure I can relay some stories about train driving in CQ to others.

There is a bit of a run on blokes from my depot doing the IP this year, I know of at least another 5 and spouses that are doing the trip before the end of the year. The price for QRNational employees really is great, and is well worth taking advantage of.
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
Hopefully I might sneak a peek in a loco cab at some time.
Expost

Hmm, I wouldnt get your hopes up. I think there's little opportunity to even get near the locos let alone inside the cab and it's probably the same out west (I could be wrong). Your best bet would probably be at Broken Hill on the return trip as it sits on the platform for a while before an evening departure (ask seb2351 very nicely Razz), or Sydney Central. You sound like you're in the industry so that'll help endear any crew if you ask to enter the cab, but still be prepared for a polite but firm 'no'. The rules have changed a lot in the last ten years.
  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson

I'd love to do it.

Actually, the endless sameness of the scenery is part of the appeal for me.  I like long drives for the same reason - driving is my favourite mode of doing Sydney - Melbourne, for example.  Is it boring?  In a way, I suppose yes.  However, it's very Zen.  There is a wonderful sense of achievement in it, too.  And I like my own company, and those endless hours are good for that.  I drove out to Hay a year or two back, and those long outback straights were awesome.  We don't need eye candy all the time.  Well, I don't, anyway.  

When I fly, I always feel I've somehow cheated.

So yeah, the IP would be great, I reckon.  You can always take a book.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Actually, the endless sameness of the scenery is part of the appeal for me.  I like long drives for the same reason
TheLoadedDog™™
Ever driven from Dalby Qld to Thargomindah Qld*? About 9 hours of probably the most uninteresting of scenery you can get - mostly straight roads through mostly flat country with not much to see beside the road but trees. But, yeah, as I said earlier everything is interesting... Smile

* I've never been past Thargomindah, it probably doesn't get much more interesting for a while after that though!
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
When I fly, I always feel I've somehow cheated.
"TheLoadedDog™™"
It's not cheating. It's a different game entirely.
  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson

It's not cheating. It's a different game entirely.
Watson374
Yeah, naah, maybe..

I just think that I can spend nine hours in an aluminium tube watching movies and drinking beer, and previously, that would have been an arduous months-long voyage on a sailing ship.


I read an article, back in the 90s, about a guy who had converted an old Kombi van.  He ripped out the front and windscreen, the side doors, and the motor, and hooked up a camel to the front, by way of motive power.  The reporter asked, "Where are you headed?"   "Well, originally, it was Broome, but now I don't care."  I really like him.  Travel at a slow, slow pace, seeing every pebble on the road.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
For some of us half the holiday is getting there Smile
  DM45 Station Master

Location: Redland City
I agree that half the fun of the holiday is getting there. In 2005, we drove to Darwin, spent a week there, put the car on the Ghan, got off at Alice Springs & spent a week driving around to Uluru, The Olgas, King's Canyon etc. we then got back on the train for the trip to Adelaide, where we spent another week and drove home to Brisbane.

On the Ghan,we travelled Red Class, sitting up for each leg of the trip, which isn't so bad as each leg is about 20 hrs. however ,the cost of the car on Motorail was as much as the passenger cost for both of us. Whereas if we had travelled Gold class, the cost would have been about the same as the car costs only $99.00, with the added benfits of Gold class travel.

In 2011, after circumnavigating Australia with a caravan a couple of years earlier, we decided to pack up our Mazda2 Hatch and spent a leisurely 3weeks meandering through NSW, Victoria, SA and back across the Nullabor to Perth. After a week in Perth, we boarded the IP and travelled back to Sydney, where we drove home to Brisbane.

This time we obviously opted for Gold class, with the car costing only $199.00 extra. Because of trackwork in the Blue Mountains, we travelled up the Main South after diverting south from Parkes via Cootamundra, which made for an even more interesting trip. The service and the food were excellent - the only disappointment was that due to trackwork around Adelaide and further north, we missed overtaking the freight at Peterborough which put the train behind by the time we reached Broken Hill, so that the stop was only for 30 minutes and no one could leave the platform. For those passengers expecting a tour, it was disappointing. As we had spent time previously in Broken Hill, it only meant that we were unable to take a walk downtown.

When we travelled, the coaches had the older drop down toilets, and we had to pay for drinks. On the current schedule, the coaches are even better and all drinks are include in the fare - which is comparable or even cheaper than when we travelled. The only negative comment I could make on the train is that the seating in the Queen Adelaide dining cars was a little cramped - but that didn't detract from the excellent food and service.

I love train travel, regardless of the scenery and even at my age, every train trip is an adventure. I started my working life at QR Workshops, Willowburn in the days of steam when we were overhauling locos on one side of the shop and cutting them up on the other side!

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