7 May 2014
Passengers relaxing in the Outback Explorer Lounge and Bar before dinner
After catching the intercity train from Newcastle to Central we had plenty of time to check in our larger bags (keeping our smaller bags for the three day train trip), and have a bite of lunch…..and then we were on board, leaving on schedule at 2.55pm. After settling in to our cabin we explored the Outback Explorer Lounge and Bar car, and later the Queen Adelaide dining car. Everything is so well organised, staff helpful and friendly, and the food is first class (all food and drinks are included in the fare). Coffee stations are located at the end of each carriage, so you can make tea, coffee and hot chocolate at any time during the day or night.
When you leave your cabin for dinner you leave a card outside your cabin door, and by the time dinner is finished your bunks are all ready for you (with a chocolate on the pillow). The next morning you leave a card outside the cabin door when you go to breakfast, and the bunks are stowed away and cabin nice and clean when you return.
We were given information about the train journey, booking for meals, and advice of the Off Train Excursions at the stops of Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook and Kalgoorlie. Our staff leave the train at Adelaide, so we only had to decide on the first two excursions. We decided to visit the Pro Hart Gallery and do a city sights tour in Broken Hill, and a city sights tour in Adelaide
We shared our first delicious dinner with a couple from Sydney and will no doubt meet some interesting people between now and Perth.
For those who like statistics –
The train travels between Sydney and Perth (and reverse) over three nights and four days (65 hours);
Distance one-way is 4352 kms travelling an average speed of 85km/h with a maximum speed of 115km/h;
Average length of the train is 774 metres and its weight is 1400 tonnes (our train has 27 carriages and 187 passengers);
The locomotive power is diesel electric and the inaugural journey of the Indian Pacific was 23 February 1970;
The train also carries passengers’ motor vehicles, and some freight.
Fairly tired tonight as we were up early to get organised, so were pleased to find the bunk beds all ready when we returned to the cabin after dinner, and wondering how we would sleep with the gentle rocking of the train! Our bus tour in Broken Hill starts at 6.30am, so we will need to make an early start.
Seemingly endless line of carriages of the Indian Pacific waiting at Broken Hill station
Join us tomorrow for another day of our train journey and our two Off Train excursions to Broken Hill and Adelaide.