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Across Australia on The Ghan

Board the legendary trans-outback train, the Ghan, to strike deep into Australia’s Red Centre, following the tracks of the fearless pioneers who explored this wilderness
The Ghan wends its way across Australia’s vast and arid outback on its three-day journey from Adelaide to Darwin




What is the longest thing moving in the world at the precise moment you read this? A jumbo jet? An oil tanker? Disqualifying phenomena like glaciers and tectonic plates, the answer is likely to be a train, and quite likely an Australian train, crawling across the outback on the far side of the world.

Dawood Choudhury in the Adelaide Mosque

Australia has the record for the world’s longest train (4.5 miles) and though the service on the platform of Adelaide Station one crisp autumn morning measures a comparatively measly half a mile, it is still in the tradition of truly whopping, postcode-straddling Australian trains. This particular train is the Ghan, the luxury sleeper service renowned as the Orient Express of the Antipodes.

The train readies for departure, and passengers potter along the platform with their luggage in tow – some board golf buggies to reach the remoter carriages. On board, uniformed staff shuttle guests to their quarters: those with cabins at the front end of the Ghan will have already travelled half a mile of the 1,851 miles between Adelaide and our fnal destination, Darwin, a three-day journey north across the continent.

A Ghan poster in the National Railway Museum, Adelaide
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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - December 2015
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