From Broken Hill to Sydney, 14 outback hours by train

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 13 Aug 2020 12:38
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
What a cool read a destination i have never thought of doing and not by train but now keen to try.  Does Sydney promote this rail journey as a destination for holidays?

Are the trains well used on this route?

From Broken Hill to Sydney, 14 outback hours by train

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

What a cool read a destination i have never thought of doing and not by train but now keen to try.  Does Sydney promote this rail journey as a destination for holidays?

Are the trains well used on this route?

From Broken Hill to Sydney, 14 outback hours by train
NSWGR8022

Have in the past but it isn't a tourist train. It is there to provide a service for the communities along the route.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

What a cool read a destination i have never thought of doing and not by train but now keen to try.  Does Sydney promote this rail journey as a destination for holidays?

Are the trains well used on this route?

From Broken Hill to Sydney, 14 outback hours by train
NSWGR8022

Have in the past but it isn't a tourist train. It is there to provide a service for the communities along the route.
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

It is a great journey. I highly recommend it by rail or by road. With the rail, someone else does the long drive for you and you are free to look out the window. At the other end you can spend days in Broken Hill and surrounds. There are a few YouTube videos about the journey.

Although I have only ever done this trip on the IP from BH to SYD (and countless times by road via Wilcannia and Cobar), it would be something else to do the entire thing in daylight in the summer months. The XPL is also a great train for the job and I feel the CAF is over engineered for the NSW outback. (Sims, I had to get that in....)
  raudteejaam Train Controller

Been to Broken Hill many times, but always from Melbourne by road and/or plane. Taking the train from Sydney is on my bucket list - though I think I'd probably fly onwards rather than returning by train to Sydney.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
I'm happy with the memories of greats from the past - out to Broken Hill by sleeper on the West Mail, breakfast at Parkes RRR at dawn, then the Comet to Broken Hill. Upgraded to First Class because the kind guard thought we looked a bit cramped. On to Adelaide by IP seated, HUB car iirc (upgraded to First again!), then Bluebird. Then back on the Bluebird and IP. Fantastic trip. The Explorer looks nice (except the food), but something like this will never be a scratch on those past great journeys. The meals and wines and the experience of having them in a dining car at dusk that you used to get on the Aurora and IP were really something too.
  RC6 Station Staff

Similar memory to Tony P but only to Broken Hill and return via the Comet and the Forbes Mail. A day time journey from Parkes to Broken Hill  in the heat of summer. The image of a cricket match on a dusty patch by a station and all the spectators huddled under a shade cloth.  the with the pitch obviously prepared by a light grader before the match. Locals arriving to meet the train in dust covered utes and get their supplies and library books  from the guard.  A train crew that made the trip enjoyable and companionship with our fellow travellers such that we knew all their life stories by journeys end.
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
I also have memories but from a much earlier time, probably 1958 or '59 (aged 14 or 15) . It was my first time ever in a sleeper, on the West Mail, breakfast at Parkes RRR at dawn, then the Comet to Broken Hill. Then we must have been bussed to the Silverton tramway and another sleeper which was a bit of a waste as we had to get up so early to change  to the Bluebird to Adelaide. I do remember sitting up in a lounge car at the back of the Sleeping car. After several days in Adelaide we went overnight, yet again in a sleeper on the Overland to Melbourne. A bit vague then as I made several trips to Melbourne as a teenager but think we must have returned to Sydney on the Daylight.
I later drove it several times via Cobar but the next time by train was on the IP from Perth in 2012 where most is travelled in the night.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I also endorse the trip as well worthwhile and a definite repeat, as I did when I travelled from Melbourne to Broken Hill via Bathurst for $5.00, 2 years ago. However on my journey I found Economy class with 2 cars and lots of sprawl room was the best proposition compared to 1st class, sharing the buffet and was very crowded.

Mike.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Been to Broken Hill many times, but always from Melbourne by road and/or plane. Taking the train from Sydney is on my bucket list - though I think I'd probably fly onwards rather than returning by train to Sydney.
raudteejaam

Would you consider dong the triangle trip?

Sydney to Broken Hill to Melbourne and then Sydney.

How would you do it and in what direction would be better?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The Mildura to Broken Hill coach runs twice weekly, neither of which connects with the Broken Hill Xplorer on the same or next day.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
The Mildura to Broken Hill coach runs twice weekly, neither of which connects with the Broken Hill Xplorer on the same or next day.
route14

Is there a coach from Broken Hill to Swan Hill for a train service to Melbourne?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

I remember a privately run one mentioned by Gwiwer, but unsure whether it has survived the business.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
I remember a privately run one mentioned by Gwiwer, but unsure whether it has survived the business.
route14

I will research and se what I can discover.
  raudteejaam Train Controller

Been to Broken Hill many times, but always from Melbourne by road and/or plane. Taking the train from Sydney is on my bucket list - though I think I'd probably fly onwards rather than returning by train to Sydney.
raudteejaam

Would you consider dong the triangle trip?

Sydney to Broken Hill to Melbourne and then Sydney.

How would you do it and in what direction would be better?
"NSWGR8022"


Yes, but I'd start and finish in Melbourne lol. Probably go Melbourne to Sydney on a Friday, spend a couple of days in Sydney, then Sydney to Broken Hill on the Monday, spend a few days, then either hop down to Mildura or to Adelaide, (you guessed it, spend a few days) and then return home.

NSW trainlink were running BH to Mildura and Adelaide coaches at one stage, which still appear to be timetabled. If they survive in to a post-COVID world that would negate the need to fly one of those legs.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Been to Broken Hill many times, but always from Melbourne by road and/or plane. Taking the train from Sydney is on my bucket list - though I think I'd probably fly onwards rather than returning by train to Sydney.

Would you consider dong the triangle trip?

Sydney to Broken Hill to Melbourne and then Sydney.

How would you do it and in what direction would be better?
NSWGR8022

The old triangle trip, once so popular that the fares were a part of the interstate rail fares listing in the public timetable is not so easy to undertake these days because the Overland is no longer nightly and the easy connection to the old Intercapital Daylight at Sunshine ended years ago which would have been a clockwise journey. The fares from Sydney to Adelaide are very expensive as the IP is operated privately.

From my point of view, it's now the best part of 10 days or more to undertake a journey that once upon a time could have been completed in well under a week.

Mike.
  CPH8 Locomotive Driver

Reminiscing about Sydney - Broken Hill - Adelaide, the first time I did it was in Christmas 1953  with my parents when I had just turned 13. My father worked for the SAR so he had passes which cut the cost. Adelaide - Terowie behind a 520, then T to Peterborough and Broken Hill. Walk carrying luggage from Sulphide Street station to Crystal Street station to catch the Comet to Parkes. Then the Forbes Mail behind a C36 to Orange where the cars from Dubbo were attached, then on to Sydney.

Then when I was in the Army in Sydney from 1959 to 1965, I found that going via Broken Hill or Melbourne to Adelaide took about the same time, except that you had a day in Melbourne instead of travelling all day on the Comet, unless you used the Daylight from Sydney to Melbourne. Going on the night trains, you left Sydney either at 8.10 pm on the Spirit of Protest or 9.40 pm on the Forbes Mail, arriving in Adelaide at 9 am via Melbourne or 9.18 am via Broken Hill. I preferred going via Broken Hill because there was enough room under the washbasins in an FS carriage to roll out a sleeping bag on the first night and you could usually find and empty seat on the narrow gauge for the second night, otherwise an empty luggage rack. Going via Melbourne you never got a seat to sleep on, you had to change trains at Albury at 6 am - great in winter - and the luggage racks on the Overland only had a small lip to stop you falling off!

Food was generally pretty good - the dash for a railway pie at Moss Vale when doing the journey in reverse, the dash for breakfast at Murray Bridge (leaping off before the train stopped and skidding on the gravel platform), the rock and roll of the Comet. Even had a 400 Garratt from Broken Hill to Peterborough once.

I won't mention about the sight of a rising and falling blanket on the seat opposite one night on the Forbes Mail!

The good old days of train travel.
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
This thread brings back memories of a round trip I did way back in the early 1970s. Just a well I was able to locate a bunch of pics to jog my memory! Left Melbourne on the Overland, bailed out at Wolseley station at 3am.(!) then joined the Adelaide to Mt. Gambier overnighter. Spent the day exploring Mt Gambier before joining the overnighter to Adelaide. After a ride on the old tram to Glenelg and back,a bluebird got me to Peterborough. The Indian Pacific gave me a ride to Broken Hill (there were no specific cars for itinerate travellers to go relatively short distances, so I was told to ride in the Club car.) After a couple of very interesting days exploring "The hill" I joined the Silver City Commet. What an amazing train that was! A powercar that looked like a luggage van and some aircon cars and another van at the other end and boy, did that train fly. I remember timing the mile posts (this is in the pre-metric days) and finding that we were going well over 80mph (130Km/h). I commented to a member of the train staff and he replied that if we were running late, the train was capable of over 90mph (145Km/h) I wonder if Head office knew about that! At Parkes, I joined the overnight mail to Sydney. I then did a trip up to Newcastle and back on the Flyer with double headed 46 locos on the front to Gosford. A trip on the harbour on a ferry and hydrofoil finished my day in Sydney. then boarding the Mail train to Canberra. Spent the morning exploring Canberra, then using a connecting bus to Yass Junction to ride the Intercapital Daylight back to Melbourne.Very Happy
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

My round trip was in 1972. Overnight on a Sunday Spirit (was meant to go via Tocumwal on Monday, but a VR strike put paid to that), bailed out at Moss Vale, CPH down the hill to Wollongong. After a day in Sydney, the paper train got me to Newcastle, where I spent a day photographing steam working around Port Waratah, Hexham and the SMR, then overnight to Glen Innes, back to Tamworth, out to Barraba and back on 'Creamy Kate'. Cross country Werris Creek to Dubbo, to Blayney and Cowra, goods to Eugowra and back, before joining the Western Mail to Parkes. The Comet to Broken Hill, a few hours there, and the Friday night pass to Peterborough (two cars and van) connecting into a Saturday morning pass to Adelaide.  Just a morning there, before riding the 2:15pm mixed to Tailem Bend, climbed into the van of an express goods to Serviceton, and finally the Overland home, arriving Sunday morning, one week after departing.  

The fun of rail travel, before services were decimated.

Have a bonus "run forward" photo stop on the Comet at Condoblin. 25Aug72.

https://flic.kr/p/2jAcvhz
  RC6 Station Staff

To Mr. Dutton Bay - I dips me lid!
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
In January 2007 at dusk, the Xplorer racing through Horse Tank, probably less than an hour to BH.

http://www.ipernity.com/doc/grahamh/24339449

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