A New Slow-Travel Rail Journey Will Soon Launch On A Luxe Vintage Aussie Train
The case for slow travel has been building in recent years, encouraging travellers to take the slower path, explore more deeply, and really soak up their surroundings. Along with this attitude, and a growing realisation that air travel is not the most environmentally friendly method of getting around, rail travel has had a resurgence across the world. Now the trend is reaching Australia, with vintage train Spirit of Progress once again riding the rails on scenic trips encouraging travellers to take in the view.
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The Spirit of Progress is Australia’s oldest operating train, inaugurated in 1937 and taking its first ride on the rails in 33 years in March, tracing the route between Sydney and Melbourne. Sure, it’s not the high-speed rail link we all hope will happen at some point, but it is a new way to see a commonly travelled route.
The first journey is booked out, but after a renovation by the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre and Lachlan Valley Railway, there are plenty more journeys planned for the heritage train with Cruise Express. The train can hold 150 passengers in three compartments, and has a ‘parlour car’ and kiosk car for socialising and refreshments.
The first journey of the refurbished Spirit of Progress will take off from Melbourne on on March 31, arriving in Sydney via an overnight stop in Albury and crossing the Blue Mountains, the next day. It will then leave the next day on a six-day trip back to Melbourne, bookable with Cruise Express with a return ocean cruise.
The next bookable trip is the Far West Express in July 2020, a seven- or nine-day trip from Melbourne to Sydney, picking up passengers in both cities. The train will head through the Blue Mountains to Orange, Parkes, Bogan Gate (a real place), Ivanhoe and Menindee to Broken Hill. The trip costs from $5890 per person for a twin room.
Check out Cruise Express for more details and to book, or for more trips to be announced on the Spirit of Progress.
(All images: Cruise Express)