Once Upon a Time on the Ghan
By Raymond Boyd Dunn
Copyright 2011 Raymond Dunn
As I, William Rickards, known to my mates as Billy, stretched out in my Gold Kangaroo Class berth, and listened to the low rumble of the iron wheels only a few feet away from me on the iron railway track, I was only vaguely aware of the swaying and the occasional lurching of the carriage, while the Ghan hurtled through the darkness towards Alice Springs, still over twelve hours away. The ride was not as smooth as it had been the previous night on the Indian Pacific, but I didn’t mind. I thought of the people I had met so far on this holiday treat of travelling from Toowoomba to Darwin the long way; by coach to Brisbane, by Virgin to Sydney, then on the Indian Pacific and the Ghan.
I love train travel, and the motion of the train is an important part of the experience as far as I am concerned. This was not an opinion shared by all of my fellow travellers, some of whom complained about not being able to sleep on the first night out of Sydney, even though I thought it was a fairly smooth ride, and I slept like a baby.