Diary of a train trip.

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Woodie, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    What am I to do? Drive? or take the train? Decisions, decisions!

    Well, the car needs fixing (or the front wheel will fall off!) Ford Probe GT, some front wheel flange or something is cracked). $800 to fix it. hmmmmmmm...

    Executive decision has been made! Catch the train.

    Now where am I going? And when?

    New Years Eve sounds good. Perhaps some friends that live up the Northern Rivers of New South Wales. 50 acres of farm and bushland at a place called Tabulum, down the road from Mallanganee and Mummlegum, bout 30 mins from Casino. (no, not "a" casino, just a town called Casino).

    All about Casino
    And the Casino Mini Rail CLub

    All about Tabulum Tabulum has the longest single span wooden bridge in the southern hemisphere (crossing the Clarence River), it is 972 feet long by 15 foot wide, or 296 metres long by 4.5 metres wide.

    ......... to be continued..........
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Now..... the booking......

    SO when do I go? Let's look at the calendar.

    Thursday 27th Dec sounds good, and come back on Thursday 3rd Jan. That'll do. A week sounds good.

    Where do I book? Let's look here.

    CountryLink is the government run country passenger train system for New South Wales.

    The timetable here and I want to go from Sydney to Casino on Thursday.

    Sydney Thu 07:15
    Casino Thu 18:34
    Murwillumbah XPT


    Sydney Thu 16:24
    Casino Fri 03:48
    Brisbane XPT

    EEEEEKKKK. Not getting there at 4am!!! The 7.15am departure will do. 11 hrs 19 mins travel time.

    ........ to be continued ...........
  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Now for the return.......

    Now for the return journey!

    Casino Thu 00:10
    Sydney Thu 11:38
    Murwillumbah XPT


    Casino Thu 10:08
    Sydney Thu 21:51
    Brisbane XPT

    EEEEEEEEKKKK! Not leaving there at midnight! The 10am departure will do. 11hrs 43 mins travel time.

    The fare? $90 AUS each way, that make $180 AUS return, with dole concession (1/2 price) make $90 AUS return ($45 US). That's a 1500km return journey. Quite cheap actually!

    Casino is on the main Sydney/Brisbane line and has two services a day. The Sydney/Murmillumbah XPT and the Sydney/Brisbane XPT.
    For details on the XPT, see here

    ........ to be continued ........
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Some maps

    Some maps so you all know where I'm talking about!

    Rail map of Australia. NOTE: Different colours denote different guages. The "solid" yellow line is the "standard guage" National Network.

    Attached Files:

  5. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Map of the NSW local area.

    Attached Files:

  6. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    XPT Photo

    The daily Sydney/Melbourne XPT service stops at Albury (Victoria/New South Wales border)

    Attached Files:

  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Now to book it!

    Damn....... Can't book it on the net. Will have to go to town!
  8. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    That's really neat. What a wonderful way to give us a chance to learn more about your country. I looked at allmost all the sites you highlighted. Pretty neat. I can even get to Coonamble from Sydney via train and coach if I so desire.

    Hope there will be more and I hope that others who have access to riding the train will do something similar. It is certainly a great way to learn about other places in the world!

  9. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member



    Never been to Coonamble. (well not that I recall).

    The Sydney Morning Herald had a clue for it's cryptic crossword about 18 months ago. "black man goes walkabout in New South Wales town". The answer was "Coonamble".

    In the same crossword, the clue was "basic support for the handicapped". The answer was "fundamental".

    They got into trouble for that!!!

    Anyway, Kraft sell a brand of cheese called "Coon" here. Probably the most popular brand of cheese. (a matured tasty cheddar).

    How Coonamble got it's name, I do not know.
  10. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Getting a ticket.........

    Now.... Can't book on the net, so what phone number do I ring?

    13 22 32 (cost of a local call, from anywhere in Australia)..... WHAT?? No toll free number???? SHHHHHEEEEEESH! :mad:

    wait 5 mins....... 10 mins........ hang up. try again later.

    wait 5 mins........ 10 mins....... hang up. Decide to go to town, Central Station. (Its only 10 mins down the road).

    Little man behind the glass wndow says, " you are wasting your time if you try to book by phone. You'll be in the queue for at least 1/2 an hour."

    Little man says, "All trains are booked out"... "SHHHHHHEEEESH!" I say.... "I thought nobody used the damn things!"

    Little man says, "Only train available is on the 31st Dec Sydney - Casino arr: 18:34, economy class only. All other classes and trains booked out 'til then".

    As i wanted to be there for New Year's Eve, it was the only way, so I said, "That'll do".

    "Can I change this to another date?" I ask.
    Little man says, "yes, but a cancellation fee of $5.50 applies, and you can do that by phone, only if there is a cancellation. There is no 'waitlist'. It's hit or miss and first in first served, if there has just been a cancellation, but I wouldn't bother, cause you'll be in the queue on the phone for 1/2 an hour"

    Coming back is OK. Returning Friday 4th Jan dep Casino 10:06 arr Sydney 21:51.

    Any wonder people fly or drive. :mad:
  11. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Ticket Folder

    The ticket folder:

    Attached Files:

  12. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    The Ticket

    The ticket. Just printed on an A4 sheet of plain paper. Forgery eat your heart out!! WOW!

    Attached Files:

  13. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Sydney Central Station

    This is where I'll leave from. Sydney Central Station. The ticket booking office is under the clock tower on the right. It is a live webcam from the front of the station, (so no train activity) and of course, should be viewed in daylight hours for Australia! :)

    This pic is updated every 5 mins, so return on a regular basis to seen what's happening! Date & Time at the bottom of the pic is current date/time in Sydney.


    Now...... what will I see along the way???

    ........ to be continued .......
  14. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member


    Dug out my handy, dandy National Geographic map of Australia for my geography lesson for the day.

    Good grief, I think it would be easier to get to the space station than to Normanton ;) I think I'll have to pass on that one, at least for now!

    From the map it looks like you could have a real adventure if you decided to drive from Sydney to Normanton, especially if you first went west and then north instead of up the coast.

  15. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    trip planning

    Now. What am I going to see along the way? Maybe these. Australia may have a fab hot Christmas, but with the heat, comes the threat of bushfire. Christmas day was no exception for Sydney. Close to 200 homes burnt to the ground, and still, (3 days later) an eerie smoke haze still surrounds Sydney, with the smell of smoke and pink/orange light (sun through the smoke). Sitting there having Chritmas dinner (in the inner city) and ash, burnt leaves etc raining from the sky, from fires over 120 kilometres away. All rail traffic in/out of Sydney has been cancelled, and all major highways out of the city are closed. Sydney is ringed by fires with more than 100 fires burning, and more than 10,000 firefighters from here and interstate are trying to put them out. Luckily, no lives have been lost yet. They reckon the weather will turn again tomorrow back to the heat and wind. Not sure if the trains will be running by the weekend. WIll just have to wait and see.

    Attached Files:

  16. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Maybe also check the "webcam" pic earlier in the thread for a current pic of the sydney sky. (make sure it's daylight in Sydney of course!)

    Attached Files:

  17. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Not a pleasant Christmas for some 200 families in Sydney.

    Attached Files:

  18. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    getting worse

    Well, the situation has worsened overnight and today, and predictions are for a diabolical weekend for fires. They are still burning out of control. All trains on the north, west and south lines out of Sydney are still not operating, and may not be for a couple of more days yet. I'll just have to wait and see. These pics were 'captured' off the tele. Some have had a terrible Christmas.

    Attached Files:

  19. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    There is nothing that can stop these fires once they take hold.

    Attached Files:

  20. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    The savage brutality of nature.

    Attached Files:

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