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A SMALL group of Sydneysiders got to see that other North Shore yesterday as the Indian Pacific passenger train passed through Geelong.
The Indian Pacific, which normally travels inland from Sydney to Adelaide, yesterday touched Australia's southern coast at Geelong for the first time in living memory. Well, almost.
The regular Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth was obliged to take in the sights of Victoria yesterday after a derailment on the usual route near Broken Hill on Monday.
Unknown to most, the Indian Pacific whistled through Geelong earlier this week on its way to Sydney.
It was not until yesterday's return journey from Sydney to Adelaide that anyone noticed.
Sophie Dent, a somewhat bemused spokeswoman for Great Southern Railways, which operates the Indian Pacific, said her telephone in Adelaide was running hot yesterday.
"You guys all caught on to it on its way back but not on its way over,'' Ms Dent said.
"Everyone's ringing me today and I've said you missed it the other day - it must have been later on.''
Equally bemused must have been the Sydneysiders on yesterday's train, as the detour took them through Geelong's version of Sydney's salubrious North Shore.
The train passed through Melbourne and down as far as North Shore before switching back through North Geelong at the Separation Street overpass.
But not before passengers caught a glimpse of the waters of the Southern Ocean, albeit those which have made their way into Corio Bay and Corio Quay.
One V/Line employee, working at Lara Railway Station, said he had never seen the Indian Pacific in these parts in more than 20 years.
"I've seen the Overland come through a few times, but never this one,'' he said.
Ms Dent said the Broken Hill route would be restored in time for the next service.
There were no extra nights on board the train because of the detour. All passengers had been notified beforehand.
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