The Indian-Pacific railway

 

Fulfilling another ambition, Julie and I set off on one of the really classic railway journeys of the world: across the Nullarbor Plane on the Indian-Pacific railway…

 

The Wedge-tail Eagle: the world’s largest eagle and symbol of the Indian-Pacific Railway.

We particularly liked the name of the station café!

 

The train pulls into Adelaide railway station.

 

Julie is invited aboard: Gold Kangaroo, of course!

 

One likes to relax in one’s private cabin.

 

And so we leave Adelaide, and rush of into the night…

 

Whilst enjoying our meal in the dinning car, our beds are made up for us: we began our first of two nights on a continually moving train (I didn’t sleep very well…)

 

In the morning we awoke in Australia’s red heart!

 

We soon entered the Nullarbor Plane, and this view remained unchanged for the next 600-miles!

The railway track over the Nullarbor Plane is the world’s longest straight and flat stretch of rail-line!

 

The train needs to refuel at the metropolis of Cook (population 6); we therefore have an hour or so to explore the Nullarbor…

 

It’s one of those Julie of Arabia moments… Or perhaps not!

 

The landscape is unimaginably flat!

 

The locals, all six of them, have a long way to go for the nearest shops!

 

Refuelling over, it’s time we were on our way. Next stop Kalgoorlie 500-miles away.

 

Back on our journey over the Nullarbor Plane: the sheer size of the landscape is brought home by the 10-hours it takes to cross.

 

A never changing scene can be tiring!

 

But eventually the trees return…

 

Time for our second, and last, evening meal aboard the I-P.

 

Eight in the evening and the train stopped in Kalgoorlie for a couple of hours – outside temperature 42degC!

 

Kalgoorlie exists because of gold – lots of gold – and as a result the town has buildings of amazing character…

 

Gold is dug from the earth in a vast opencast hole – the second largest manmade hole in the world, but soon to be the largest!

 

The machines that dig this hole look tiny within it. They are, however, some of the largest and most powerful mobile machines on earth.

 

A shovel on display at the mine: 70-tonnes at a scoop!

 

After our visit to the mine we were back on the train for our last night and 400-miles to Perth.

 

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