Australia – The Land Down Under. It is a wonderful, beautiful and vast continent that’s teeming with natural and artificial attractions. Those of you who are thinking about visiting this amazing place might be inclined to do so by plane, bus or car, but there is another more picturesque, comfortable and affordable way to do it. We’re talking about trains, of course, the Indian Pacific train to be more specific. It is a relatively old service that started off all the way back in 1970 when it became the first ever train to traverse the Australian continent directly. Initially, the journey involved 3,962 kilometers (2,461 miles), but it now stretches for 4,352km (2,698 miles) between the beautiful capital of Sydney and the largest city in Western Australia: Perth. What’s really impressive about this train ride is that it lasts just 65 hours even though it spans a continent, which just goes to show how effective Australian rail service really is. The route involves a departure from Sydney through the Western and Broken Hill lines before entering Southern Australia through the Broken Hill to Crystal Brook line. The train then heads to the capital of Southern Australia, Adelaide, and it soldiers on to Port Augusta and to Kalgoorlie across the lengthiest straightforward stretch of railway in the world on the barren Nullarbor Plain. The trip ends at the East Perth railway station, which can be found just 1.9 kilometers or 1.2 miles away from the main Perth railway station.
Now that you know a little bit about the train and the journey itself, it’s time to tell you what to expect in terms of accommodations and passenger facilities. This is a massive train, no doubt about it, but in its early days it used to offer a modest number of 52 first-class sleeping berths complemented by 96 second-class ones. This meant that it was limited to just 144 passengers, and even though this might have been a decent number at the time, the train’s ever-increasing popularity eventually led to impressive upgrades.
Nowadays, those who are interested in a journey on the Indian Pacific have no less than four classes at their disposal. These were dubbed Platinum, Gold Service, Red Service Sleeper and Red Service Daynighter. As you probably suspect, the Platinum service is the most expensive but also the most impressive. It was implemented in 2008 and was designed to ensure a luxurious traveling experience for those who are accustomed to enjoying the finer things in life. The Gold Service is not too shabby either considering the fact that it used to represent the first-class service before the implementation of the Platinum one. It features roomette or twinette sleeper cabins as well as free meals that can be served in the restaurant car. The cheaper economy class is represented by the Red Service, and it involves sleeping in dual-berth shared cabins or in “sit-up”seats. Admittedly, that doesn’t sound very comfortable. Furthermore, for an extra fee, passengers can take their beloved vehicles with them thanks to the Indian Pacific’s Motorail service.Embarking on this memorable trip for 4 days and 3 nights would allow you to feast your eyes on some of the most remarkable panoramas in Australia, not to mention the fact that you could visit some of its most beautiful cities. Traveling by train is a unique experience, and the Indian Pacific is definitely one of the most outstanding services of its kind in the world alongside the Ghan Train, which uses similar equipment but features a completely different route.