As an adult I have had three distinct train/railroad experiences. One at Dorrigo when I stumbled across a train museum, another in New Zealand when we went from Dunedin to Taieri Gorge an incredibly scenic journey. For today’s challenge I have the fortune of just returning from a train trip to Winton. Winton is in the far west of North Queensland, 1,325 kms by train from where we live. We decided to travel by economy class as it is part of Australia my husband has not experienced, it is steeped in dinosaur history and it was a place we could travel with COVID 19 restrictions.
I was excited until I realised that the length of time we would be sitting up would be longer than a trip to Switzerland and that knocks us about. We hopped on at Cooroy late afternoon. Not 100% certain what the equipment on the platform was for – perhaps grabbing the mail bags or dropping coal in when the train was steam powered but I’m fairly certain it is no longer in use. As night fell we flashed past the odd light and then the odd town.
Because of the pandemic there were no people sitting either in front or behind us and we were given the entire row. The seats were from the first class seating from the Sunlander (another Queensland rail route) and incredibly comfortable allowing us to sleep reasonably well. There was also the dining car shown above and below. We went and ordered our meal from the galley which was a bit of a test for Roger, who is a little unsteady on his feet, as we had to move between cars but it made a big difference being able to move around.
In the morning as the scenery changed from grassy to desert like we arrived at a place called Alpha.
We were allowed out for a 10 min stop. The platform was tiny (reminded me of the Australian film Wake in Fright) and the train hung over at either end of the platform. Anyone who wanted to get off had to come down to our carriage so where you see the ramp that was where we were situated on the train.
Despite the small size of the town it boasted four pubs of which two are featured above. The brick one being creatively called the brick pub.
Whilst there we saw our first road train. These are lorries that have a minimum of three hook ons at the back and are very common in the Northern Territory, Queensland and probably Western Australia. They hurtle along at great speed and are terrifying to attempt to overtake. Back to our train…
Another stop at Barcoldine but that will be the subject of another post and eventually Longreach. Bus to Winton. And then the home journey
Waving goodbye to Longreach.
As we crossed the Great Dividing Range back to the coast we snaked around the mountains giving us great views of the train and scenery.
We enjoyed this rail journey so much that we have booked another – this time to Cairns. We hope it will be as enjoyable as this one.
Thanks to Cee for hosting the Fun Foto Challenge.