Australian Trains Blog


NSW Rail Maintenance Workers Walk Off Job

14th August 2018

Late last month New South Wales track maintenance workers stopped operations for 24 hours after wage negotiations came to a halt.
The 170-person-strong stop work commenced at 3.00am on July 23 following stalled negotiations that have been ongoing since October 2016.

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Driverless Passenger Trains Set To Make Tracks

31st July 2018

This month in Sydney’s north, history played out before the nation’s eyes when the country’s first driverless passenger train successfully completed its inaugural trip over the new cable-stayed bridge and elevated viaduct in Rouse Hill.

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Great Regional Australian Networks

16th July 2018

Stretching across 7.692 million square kilometres (of which 90% in uninhabitable), it’s no surprise that Australia's regional train networks play such a significant role in transporting people and cargo across the country. These lines are vast, running through shifting landscapes and large patches of nothing at all. As a crucial resource for regional communities and a major cost saver to freight companies (not to mention the environmental benefits), it quickly becomes hard to place a value on the service.

In tribute to the great Australian rail network, we’ve compiled some of our favourite commuter routes from around the country.

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Sydney Unveils New Inter-city Train Design

3rd July 2018

This month, Sydneysiders have been treated to a first glimpse of the new inter-city trains currently under construction in South Korea. A life-sized prototype sits in a warehouse close to Sydney Olympic Park, revealing the new design and layout of trains set to ferry passengers from Sydney to Wollongong, the South Coast, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains.

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Rail Projects Victoria Reveals Melbourne Metro Tunnel Station Designs

18th June 2018

Early this month, Victoria’s Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan unveiled 5 new and exciting Melbourne landmarks. Expected to be operational in 2025, the $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project links Melbourne’s west and south-east with 39km of underground rail through the heart of the city.

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New Technology Decreasing Station Dwell Time

4th June 2018

As our cities grow, our public transport networks must develop with them. A larger population means more commuters, and while major cities like Sydney have increased the number of trains which run during peak periods, this has proven not to be sufficient in decreasing the crowding on platforms.

This is an issue that has been of concern to transport authorities for a while, as large crowds cause longer wait periods (known as ‘dwell’ time) for trains stopping at stations.

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The Future of High Speed Rail in Australia

25th May 2018

On the Australian political agenda since 1984, high-speed rail has oft seemed like a pipe-dream kicked around by politicians favouring short-term praise over long-term solutions.

According to Philip Laird in a recent article in The Conversation, an estimated $125 million has been thrown into high-speed rail feasibility studies since 1984 - all to little effect. As such, it's difficult to receive new announcements, research and funding promises with any level of seriousness.

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$400 Million Upgrade to Port Botany Rail Line Announced

10th May 2018

Early this month, the Turnbull Government announced a major funding release to ease congestion on the Port Botany Rail Line in Sydney. Putting $400 million on the table, the project is designed to duplicate the single track part of the line and will be fully funded by the government.

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5 of Australia's Favourite Miniature Railways

24th April 2018

For kids and kids at heart, there is nothing more thrilling than the total sensory experience of embarking on a ridable miniature railway. Often scaled down versions of full-sized railway trains, miniature railways are found in urban parks or private businesses for the pleasure of the public, young and old. With your next weekend adventure in mind, we’ve curated a short list of some of Australia’s favourite ride on model railways.

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Australian Railway Association Announces New Board Member

16th April 2018

Taking advantage of her extensive construction and leadership experience, the Australian Railway Association (ARA) have awarded Anna Squire, principal at engineering consultancy Arup, a seat on the board.

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Booleroo Steam & Traction Rally Celebrates 50th Anniversary

31st January 2018

Australian trains enthusiasts will join Rail Tours Australia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Booleroo Steam and Traction Preservation Society's Annual Rally with a two day tour that will cover parts of South Australia’s mid north and the stunning Flinders Ranges.

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The Ghan: Australia's Greatest Train Journey

10th January 2018

In a first for SBS and indeed Australian television, The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey is the channel’s first foray into the ‘slow TV’ movement. An immersive, three-part special the three hour ad-free and uninterrupted special was first aired on Sunday January 7 at 7.30opm and is now available on SBS On Demand. Taking viewers on the same incredible journey through the outback as the iconic Ghan train journey, the program reveals in real time the stunning topographical landscapes and palette changes of the central Australian outback as it travels from Adelaide to Darwin.

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Cityrain Welcomes The Santa Express

20th December 2017

From 11-15 December, Santa swapped his sleigh for a train, boarding the Santa Express across the South East Queensland rail network. Spreading Christmas cheer to families travelling by train this festive season, Santa joined a jolly journey on Citytrain lines according to Queensland Rail.

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The History of Australian Rail

29th November 2017

The history of Australian trains is a long and complex one which dates back 200 years. The first rail systems in Australia were constructed when the majority of the country was little more than sparsely settled colonies until 1901 when they united to form a Federation of States.

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2017 Indian Pacific Food & Wine Train A Big Success

25th October 2017

Offering train enthusiasts a new way to enjoy the countryside, the Indian Pacific offers a special Food & Wine Train that takes them on a culinary adventure across the Nullarbor from Adelaide to Perth and back. The transcontinental two-night journey each way was the perfect way for guests to immerse themselves in food and wine masterclasses while stepping off the rails to explore some unique destinations including Rawlinna and Cook, small railway siding home to only four people.

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Australia’s Famous ‘Tea & Sugar’ Train

4th October 2017

Perhaps one of Australia’s most loved trains, the ‘Tea and Sugar’ service commenced in 1915 to service some of the more remote places along the Trans-Australian route. Although it started by simply providing good and services to workers in these remote locations, the service increased over time, providing more to a number of the isolated communities along the railway line between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie.

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Evolution of the Trans Australian Railway

13th September 2017

The Trans Australian Railway Line was joined on October 17, 1917 and as the 100th anniversary approaches, we take a look how the railway line evolved over the years. The Trans Australian Railway is a 1693km rail line that stretches from Port Augusta South Australia all the way to Kalgoorlie Western Australia, crossing the Nullarbor Plain. It includes the world’s longest stretch of dead-straight track, a 478km stretch between the 797km post west of Ooldea and the 1,275km post west of Loongana.

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ARHS The Right Track For Train Enthusiasts

30th August 2017

If you’ve got a serious love for locomotives and have always fancied playing the Fat Controller in your own backyard then the Australian Railway Historical Society (ARHS) might just be the answer to your prayers. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) branch of the ARHS has unfortunately gone into liquidation. Unfortunate for them but a win for train enthusiasts who had to opportunity to own their own little piece of history as several historic train carriages were auctioned off.

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Railway Historian To Host Trans-Australian Tour

9th August 2017

On Sunday 22 October 2017, Australian trains enthusiasts will join together to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the first passenger train on the Trans-Australian Railway with a history making journey of their own. Completed 17 October 1917, the first train on the Trans-Australian Railway departed Port August for Kalgoorlie and this year, Rail Tours Australia will be retracing the famous railway journey, joined by prominent railway historian and author John Evans.

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Most Annoying Habits of Australian Train Commuters

26th July 2017

A survey by market research and customer satisfaction company Canstar Blue has revealed some of the top pet peeves of Australian train commuters. The survey received responses from over 3,000 passengers across the train networks of the five largest cities in Australia and exposed the most common complaints passengers had about their fellow travellers.

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Is A Tram A Train?

5th July 2017

It’s a question that makes train enthusiasts the world over gasp in horror. Is a tram considered a train? While to the uninitiated they may seem like practically the same thing (after all, they’re both modes of transport that run on tracks) those in the know will tell you that there are a number of key differences.

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A Guide To Australian Train Travel

14th June 2017

Australia is a vast country, and the best way to appreciate it’s sheer size and beauty is by train. There’s no better way to cover the long distances between capital cities and see the stunning countryside than in the comfort of Australian trains. In fact Australia is famous for its train journeys, particularly the 3 day Indian Pacific which connects Sydney and Adelaide with Perth and crosses the Nullarbor Plain. The Ghan is another iconic Australian rail journey that travels from Adelaide all the way up to Alice Springs and Darwin, taking in the incredible ‘Red Centre’. There are also a number of easy and affordable rail journeys that travel the east coast of the country.

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Australia’s Famous Train Stations

10th May 2017

From modern stations and super structures to historic train stations with age old architecture, Australia has a number of famous train stations in some of the most amazing places. Perhaps the most iconic station is Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station located on the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets. It’s the busiest suburban railway station in the southern hemisphere.

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The History of The Ghan Railway

26th April 2017

Originally known as the Afghan Express, this famous Australian rail journey is now commonly known as The Ghan. Spanning 2,979km, the iconic route operates between Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide. Operating since 1878, this legendary rail service takes 48 hours to complete and offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia. The train was originally named for the Afghan camel drivers who arrived in Australia in the 19th century and helped to explore the remote interior of the country.

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The First Railways & Trains of Australia

12th April 2017

The first trains in Australia were built when the vast country was little more than settled colonies spread far and wide across the land. Up until the mid-1800s, horse-drawn carts and coastal shipping services were the main modes of transport, however all that changed in 1854 when the first steam railways was built. Operating along a route between Melbourne and Port Melbourne, this single steam rail began a locomotive revolution which saw various colonies rapidly develop their own rain systems.

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