Indian Pacific celebrates 40th anniversary

Guest Writer

23 Feb 10 (TravMedia.com): The mighty Indian Pacific celebrates its 40th Anniversary today (23 February). A train acclaimed not only as an Australian icon but as one of the worlds greatest train journeys.

History was made when the Indian Pacific departed Sydney Central Station on the first direct rail journey across the continent, forty years ago. Tens of thousands of people lined the track to witness what was said to be a symbol of nationhood; the first solid connection between the cities of the east and the isolated west coast.

More than 55,000 people now experience the vastness and beauty of the Australian outback on board the Indian Pacific each year. The train has earned its place as one of Australia’s most precious tourism entities.

“The Indian Pacific is so much more than a mode of transport,” said Commercial Director of Great Southern Rail, Russell Westmoreland. “It is a journey of a lifetime as guests experience some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery, make new friends and enjoy fine dining in the comfort of an iconic train,” he said.

The Indian Pacific provides a rare window into the outback of Australia. From the stunning Blue Mountains with lush tree canopies and spectacular valley views the train winds through the Great Dividing Range, the salt lakes and sand dunes of South Australia and over the longest straight stretch of rail track in the world as it crosses the Nullarbor Plain.

“Australia is the only continent in the world that can be crossed coast-to-coast by train. The wedge-tailed eagle is the symbol of the Indian Pacific – its massive two metre wingspan symbolises the epic journey of an adventure that spans a continent,” said Russell.

There is no better time to travel on the Indian Pacific than during its historic 40th year. To celebrate the occasion, Great Southern Rail has a special package available throughout March, for travel before 31 August.

Guests booking a journey on the Indian Pacific in Red Sleeper Service, with two nights accommodation and one day of touring, will be entitled to a free upgrade to Gold Service.

The free upgrade equates to a discount of up to $661 per person and cabins are selling quickly.

To avoid missing out on this fantastic offer, contact Great Southern Rail on 13 21 47 or www.gsr.com.au or contact your licensed travel agent.

The Indian Pacific departs from both Sydney and Perth twice a week during the high season.

During low season the journey is limited to one return service each week.

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