Indian Pacific 50
Part 1: Crossing a Nation – The First 25 Years
On Monday 23 February 1970, more than 10,000 people lined the platform at East Perth Terminal to witness the historic completion of the first ‘unbroken’ transcontinental passenger train trip from Sydney, by the luxurious new Indian Pacific. The 50th Anniversary of the iconic train prompted many celebrations and commemorations and, for our part, we present a comprehensive two-part article by former Railway Digest editor, Chris Walters, covering not only its history and present-day operation, but also the circumstances that led to the creation of the train we know as the Indian Pacific, plus several other interesting aspects of the train and its journey.
An Interesting Crossing at Berry
At 2.40pm each afternoon the Endeavour railcars, Kiama bound, pass a lengthy freight conveying wheat to the huge Manildra complex at Bomaderry/Nowra, terminus of the South Coast line, as they operate a regular ‘yo yo’ service between Bomaderry and Kiama, connecting with electric services to Wollongong and Sydney. The ‘cross’ takes place at the historical tourist and farming hamlet of Berry, by an unusual method, as Neville Pollard demonstrates.
Toowoomba Line Clearance improvement project completed
Queensland Rail’s project to enable 9ft 6in containers to traverse the Brisbane – Toowoomba – Warwick line has been completed. The key part of the project was the lowering of the floor in the two tunnels on the Little Liverpool Range, between Grandchester and Laidley, and the nine Toowoomba Range tunnels, between Murphy’s Creek and Toowoomba. Though the planned dual-gauge inland Rail line from Kagaru to west of Yelarbon via Gowrie may render the existing route redundant, it nevertheless looks set to provide several years of valuable expanded capacity on ‘The Range’. John Hoyle reports.
A 1991 rail bash to Northern NSW remembered
In August 1991, Bob Grant was having a fortnight’s photographing bash in NSW with a couple of other South Australians, Mark Carter and Ron Reid. They had driven up to Broken Hill and then across to Narromine and Coonamble before basing themselves for a few days at Werris Creek. The trio ventured further north on Friday 16 August 1991 and found themselves at Moree, where they had a choice of two trains heading out of town that day; an empty grain train to North Star with three 48s, and the track evaluation and inspection saloon AK812 behind 4812 to Delungra – the end of the erstwhile line to Inverell.