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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

What is the Indian Pacific?

Fresh from the launch of the new Indian Pacific livery on 24th September, NR 28 hauls the Indian Pacific out of Perth (through Maylands) on Wednesday, 28th September 2005. Indian Pacific train through suburban Perth in 2002.The Indian Pacific is a passenger rail service running between Perth and Sydney, Australia. It was started in 1970 after the railway line between Sydney and Perth had all been converted to standard gauge. It covers 4352 kilometres, passes through three states and travels along the world's longest straight stretch of railway track.

The route leaves East Perth Station and travels east to Kalgoorlie. This section was built as narrow gauge, and even when it was converted to standard gauge in 1968 there was a change of locomotives and train crew at Kalgoorlie from Westrail crew to Australian National Railways.

From there it continues east across the Nullarbor Plain on the Trans-Australian Railway to Port Augusta. This railway was built as standard gauge, completed in 1917 as part of the promises made to Western Australia on federation in 1901. The section includes the longest straight stretch of railway track in the world (479 km) around
Cook. When it was built, there was a break-of-gauge at both ends.

The train continues south to Port Pirie, then inland to Crystal Brook, and south to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. It returns along the same track to Crystal Brook, then turns east again towards Broken Hill, passing through the historic triple-gauge railway towns of Gladstone and Peterborough. Port Pirie to Broken Hill was rebuilt to standard gauge in 1970 (the previous version was narrow gauge), and
the Crystal Brook to Adelaide section was built in 1982. Prior to that, the Indian Pacific did not go down to Adelaide, passengers transferred at Port Pirie from a broad gauge train between Adelaide and Port Pirie.

From Broken Hill, the train continues across New South Wales to Parkes, then climbs over the Blue Mountains and into Sydney.

Passenger Facilities
The service between Perth and Sydney takes about four days. Passengers can choose between airline-style seats and single- or dual-berth sleeper cabins. The train also carries passengers' motor vehicles. The restaurant car provides a table d'hôte service. There are also an on train buffet and a lounge bar.

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