Monday, 1 February 2016

1970: The Indian-Pacific Begins Service

On February 23 1970, the Indian Pacific Train went into operation and for the first time allowed for uninterrupted rail travel between Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Before 1970, one had to take five trains just to cross the country (and via Melbourne) on various gauges. The line completed a century long vision to construct a rail line to link the eastern and western coasts of the continent. A lavish ceremony was held to mark the commencement of services at Central Station.

  Indian Pacific February 24 1970 daily telegraph 3

Source: Anonymous.1970. "On the first train to Perth: Indian-Pacific's big send off". The Daily Telegraph: February 24:3. 

Four days later, the train arrived to a big welcome in Perth with 10000 gathering at Perth Station for its arrival.

It has survived the jet age due to the experience that it is offered to traveller's. While one can fly from Sydney to Perth in four and a half hours, a journey by rail allows one to see the many landscapes that shape our nation. The hospitality on board makes the journey a holiday in itself and has become regarded as one of the world's great rail journeys.