Australia Revisited: The Indian Pacific.

Five years ago, I went to Australia and rode their two transcontinental trains. The first ride was aboard the Indian Pacific, which runs east-to-west between Sydney and Perth. From there I took Qantas up to Darwin and rode the Ghan south to Adelaide. Here are a few photos I took on that rail adventure.
 

The Indian Pacific consist pulled into the Sydney railway station a full hour before we were allowed to board, but some of us were already on the platform more than ready to get going.
 

Much of the scenery was like this–hot, flat and dry–but every so often there was something interesting to see … that herd of wild camels way off in the distance, for instance.
 

Close to noon on the second day, then Indian Pacific stops for servicing and a crew change in the town of Cook, permanent population: 4.
 

Cook has at least one claim to fame: It’s located along the longest stretch of perfectly straight railroad track in the world–not quite 300 miles.
 

After leaving Sydney on the Pacific Ocean and heading due west for three nights and almost four days, we arrived in Perth on the Indian Ocean … hence the name of the train. It was a fascinating ride, the dining car turned out some truly excellent meals and, as always, I met some wonderfully interesting people on board.
 
More to come on the other great Aussie train ride, the Ghan. (And guess how that train got its name.)