It's fair to say he wasn't impressed - Sydney to Melbourne in Oz

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mcropod

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
342
Location
Oz
I've been up and down this line a few times and I had loads more fun than this writer. Sydney and Melbourne are Oz's two major cities located about 850kms apart in the same timezone. Sydney has a population of around five million and Melbourne not much less. The air corridor between the two used to be amongst the world's most travelled in pre-plague times.

(A report of my last day-time run by train in May this year, pre-lockdown, is on this forum.)

With air travel being so easy and quick and modern as well as cost by comparison, making the journey by train rather than plane was seen to be a bit odd and second class. The trains take about twelve hours end to end, with their terminal stations right in the heart of the two cities' CBDs, and it's always my first choice to go by train, but it doesn't suit everyone, seemingly this writer included:

 

trainman74

Conductor
Joined
Apr 7, 2011
Messages
1,801
Location
Sherman Oaks, CA
The historical notes in that article are interesting (and I see it appears to be an excerpt from a much longer book).

Very reminiscent of my experience on that same train in 2009, although I had a compartment all to myself, breakfast all came in one cardboard tray, and I didn't get a pre-departure snack pack.
 

George Harris

Engineer
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,165
Location
now in California
A route I really wanted to ride in my R&R out of Nam in 1971, but was not able to work in by either time or budget. We were forced to pay for hotel space for the entire time on arrival which put a much bigger than anticipated hole in my budget. That was understandable, since many of the guys dropped all their available funds on booze and other forms of entertainment during their first day or two. Unfortunately this route is a little long for an HSR. I would think a night train could have decent ridership, if it can be reliable. Is there still one running?
 

mcropod

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
342
Location
Oz
A route I really wanted to ride in my R&R out of Nam in 1971, but was not able to work in by either time or budget. We were forced to pay for hotel space for the entire time on arrival which put a much bigger than anticipated hole in my budget. That was understandable, since many of the guys dropped all their available funds on booze and other forms of entertainment during their first day or two. Unfortunately this route is a little long for an HSR. I would think a night train could have decent ridership, if it can be reliable. Is there still one running?
There are two daily services each way out of Melbourne and Sydney, one is a daylight service departing around 0700h, the other an overnighter departing around 1900h.

I've travelled both and both ways, overnight is more restful of course, but daylight gives you a decent view of the country. There's no difference in the trainsets either way, as the service is run by NSW railways using NSW equipment. In daylight configuration, the sleeper cabins which by night have an upper and lower bunk convert to a three seater bench seat.

In my pre-plague trips, the service was modestly occupied, and I've only once had to share a sleeper.

Going north from Melbourne, the train climbs using the Bethungra spiral near Junee in NSW which was engineered to speed wartime northwards traffic. Previously, additional locos were needed to assist in the climb. You don't see the spiral except on the daylight northwards run - southbound trains barrel straight down the original alignment.

 
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