Transcontinental Railroads AustraliaTranscontinental Railroads Australia
Transcontinental Railroad East-West
The first Trans-Australian Railway was completed in 1917, between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie, and crosses the Nullarbor Plain. This line completed the link between the mainland state capitals of Brisbane then Sydney via Melbourne and Adelaide to the western state capital of Perth. This route suffered from a number of breaks-of-gauge, using 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) twice, 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) once, and 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) thrice, with five breaks-of-gauge in all.
The Trans-Australian Railway was the first route operated by the Federal Government.In the 1940s, 1970s, and 2000s steps were taken to rationalise the gauge chaos and connect the mainland capital cities mentioned above with standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in). Since 1970, when the direct standard gauge line across the country was completed, the passenger train on the Sydney to Perth line has been called the Indian Pacific.
The proposed Iron Boomerang would connect iron in the Pilbara with coal in Queensland, so achieving loaded operations in both directions.
Transcontinental Railroad North-South
A 1,320 km (820 mi) land grant railway from Charleville to Point Parker on the Gulf of Carpentaria, with branches, was proposed in the 1880s.
The first north-south trans-Australia railway opened in January 2004 and links Darwin to Adelaide with the Ghan passenger train. The Adelaide-Darwin railway is standard or 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) gauge, though the original line to Alice Springs (never fully completed line) was 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge.
In 2006, proposals for new lines in Queensland that would carry both intrastate coal traffic and interstate freight traffic would see standard gauge penetrate the state in considerable stretches for the first time. (ARHS Digest September 2006). The standard gauge Inland Railway would ultimately extend from Melbourne to Cairns.
Starting in 1867, Queensland built several railways going inland from several ports in a westerly direction. From the 1920s, steps were taken to connect these lines by the North-South North Coast line from Brisbane to Cairns.