News National Australia’s Ghan railway on track to mark 90 years

Australia’s Ghan railway on track to mark 90 years

The Ghan take passengers on a 3000km journey across Australia. Photo: Getty
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Australia’s historic railway, the Ghan, will celebrate 90 years of operation with a commemorative service departing from Adelaide on Sunday.

The special anniversary service will carry 235 passengers across 3000km of Australian desert on a three-day journey to Darwin.

Along the way, passengers will stop at the small town of Pimba for an open-air concert performed by Australian artists including Adam Thompson from Chocolate Starfish, and Christine Anu.

The Ghan arrives at Quorn following a trip through the Flinders Ranges. Photo: Getty

One carriage on the train will also be converted into an art-deco inspired hat shop where guests can be personally fitted for an Akubra while enjoying a glass of champagne.

Named after the Afghan camel trains used to open up South Australia in the 1800s, the Ghan was considered the second biggest civil engineering project in the nation’s history after the Snowy Mountains hydro electric scheme.

Passengers jump off the train in Quorn. Photo: Getty

Its first service left Adelaide on August 4, 1929, when the rail line from Adelaide only extended as far as Alice Springs.

The rail line was used during World War II to ferry troops and supplies across the country in one of its busiest periods of service to date.

The population of Alice Springs boomed as people in Darwin fled bombing by the Japanese. Photo: Getty

After decades of extending only as far as Alice Springs, the federal government’s project to complete the link from Adelaide to Darwin finally started in 2001 at a cost of $1.3 billion.

Today, the rail line operates as a high-end tourism experience that includes extra activities like side trips to Katherine Gorge.

-with AAP