Trans-Australian (Retired)

Trans-Australian (Retired)

The Trans-Australian (originally known as the Trans-Australian Express) was an Australian passenger train operated by the Commonwealth Railways initially between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie on the Trans-Australian Railway line, and later extended west to Perth, and east to Port Pirie and Adelaide.

The Trans-Australian History

The train commenced operating between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie in 1917 following the completion of the Trans-Australian Railway. It was extended to Port Pirie in 1937 following the conversion of this line to standard gauge.

Initially the train was hauled by G class locomotives and from 1938 by C class locomotives. In 1951 it began to be hauled by GM class diesel locomotives.

Originally it only conveyed sleeping accommodation but aside from a period in the 1960s, it was not until 1981 that seated accommodation 

was provided. In 1964 Commonwealth Railways purchased 24 carbon steel carriages from Commonwealth Engineering, Granville. These were later augmented by stainless steel carriages. It also operated with other rolling stock, de-motored Bluebird railcars being used by the late 1980s.

Following the conversion of the line from Kalgoorlie to standard gauge the Trans-Australian was extended to Perth on 15 June 1969 replacing The Westland. For a time from December 1973 the service ran daily with the Trans-Australian combined with the Indian Pacific at Port Pirie on the days the latter ran.

At this stage the service was operating five times per week, with the Indian Pacific operating on the other days to provide a daily service. This had ceased by May 1977 with each operating individually and the Trans-Australian reduced to three times weekly.

After the Port Pirie to Adelaide line was converted to standard gauge in 1982, the Trans Australian was extended to Keswick Terminal in Adelaide.

In the wake of a recession and cheaper air fares, the service was reduced from two services per week to one in February 1991 with this too cancelled from June 1991

Trans-Australian Overview

Status: Discontinued
Locale: South Australia
Western Australia
First Service: 1917
Last Service: 27 June 1991
Former Operator(s): Commonwealth Railways
Australian National
Western Australian Government Railways

Route Start: Port Augusta / Port Pirie / Adelaide
Route End: Kalgoorlie / Perth
Line Used: Adelaide-Port Augusta
Eastern Goldfields

Track Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 inches)


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