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The Ghan – FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What is the actual travelling time and distance between major stops? A: Sydney - Perth or vice versa (v.v) - 4,352km - approx 68hrs Sydney - Adelaide (or v.v.) - 1,693km - approx 24.5hrs Adelaide - Perth (or v.v.) - 2,659km - approx 41hrs Adelaide - Alice Springs (or v.v.) - 1,559km - approx 25hrs Adelaide - Darwin (or v.v.) - 2,979km - approx 48hrs Melbourne - Adelaide (or v.v.) - 828km - approx 10.5hrs
Q: Can I fly out the same day as the train arrives? A: We highly recommend that guests allow for at least 3-5 hours after the scheduled arrival time of a train, or preferably an overnight stopover (especially for international flights) before a plane flight. Unfortunately, trains can sometimes be delayed and run behind schedule.
Q: Can I travel if I am sick or have an illness? A: We may decline your booking or refuse to board you on the train if you suffer from any illness, disease or medical condition which makes travel unsafe for you or other guests. You have an obligation to inform us of any illness, disease or medical condition at the time of booking. Please refer to our Fitness For Travel Policy.
Q: Can I travel if I am pregnant? A: Yes, you can travel up to 30 weeks into your pregnancy. If you are more than 30 weeks pregnant or have a multiple pregnancy or a complicated pregnancy, we do not recommend travel with Great Southern Rail (GSR). You may be required to produce a doctor’s letter of consent or an authorised medical certificate within 14 days of travel. Please advise us of any pregnancy at the time of booking.
Q: What medical assistance is provided by train staff? A: GSR staff members are trained to administer basic first aid; however staff members are not able to provide assistance with ongoing medical conditions during a journey. Guests requiring medical attention or mobility assistance onboard any of our trains are required to arrange for their own carer to travel with them.
Q: Can my necessary medication be refrigerated? A: Yes, subject to space within our onboard fridge compartments. Please inform us of any medication requirements at the time of booking.
Q: Can I take oxygen onboard? A: Yes, please inform us of any oxygen requirements at the time of booking.
Q: Can I take my own food onboard the train? A: You can bring food for your own special dietary needs. You cannot bring your own alcohol or hot food. Some food purchased onboard may need to be disposed of prior to leaving the train due to strict state quarantine rulings.
Q: Can I heat my baby’s food or bottle? A: Yes, staff can heat baby food and bottles at your request.
Q: Can I pay for my meals/snacks/beverages with a credit card? A: Yes, however a minimum amount applies.
Q: Can I pay for my meals/snacks/beverages with EFTPOS? A: No, EFTPOS facilities are not available onboard.
Q: Is there ATM (cash out) facilities onboard? A: No, you must board the train with sufficient cash on hand for any required purchases during your journey.
Q: Can I take any pets or animals onboard? A: No, the only animals permitted on GSR train services are specially trained dogs for the vision and hearing impaired.
Q: Can I bring freight/other goods on the train? A: No, you must arrange your freight needs directly with a specialist freight transportation company.
Q: Why am I unable to pre-pay or reserve my spot on the Whistle Stop (off-train tours) at Broken Hill, Kalgoorlie and Katherine? A: Whistle Stop tours are not guaranteed due to the possibility of a late running train, or inclement weather. These tours are offered onboard once the likelihood of tour operation is known.
Q: Can I disembark The Ghan at Coober Pedy? A: Coober Pedy is located 42kms from the railway line. Due to the isolation of the Manguri siding and the extreme cold experienced during the evening when stopping at Manguri, we will not allow guests to disembark the train without a prior arranged collection. Guests must arrange their own transfers to Coober Pedy.
Q: Can I stopover in Adelaide on the way from Sydney to Perth (or v.v.) and still pay only the Sydney to Perth fare, or do I pay the sum of the Sydney to Adelaide and the Adelaide to Perth fares? A: There is no penalty for an Adelaide stopover when travelling on the Indian Pacific as long as you complete your journey from Sydney to Perth within 60 days of the date of the stopover. You will only pay the Sydney – Perth (or v.v) fare.
Q: Can I stopover in Alice Springs on the way from Adelaide to Darwin (or v.v.) and still pay only the Adelaide to Darwin fare, or do I pay the sum of the Adelaide to Alice Springs and the Alice Springs to Darwin fares? A: There is no penalty for an Alice Springs stopover when travelling on The Ghan as long as you complete your journey from Adelaide to Darwin within 60 days of the date of the stopover. You will only pay the Adelaide to Darwin (or v.v.) fare.
Q: As an overseas visitor to Australia, do I qualify for the pension concession fare if I am a pensioner or senior citizen back home? A: GSR is a private commercial business that receives a rebate each year from the Australian Federal Government as compensation for offering concession fares for Australian pensioners. As part of our agreement with the Australian Government, we must secure an eligible Australian Pension Concession Card number at the time of booking. This agreement with the Australian Federal Government does not extend to pensioners from overseas countries. It is strictly limited to Australian pensioners who are residents of Australia.
Q: At what age does my child qualify as an infant? A: Infants travel free of charge on GSR services up to three years of age. Infants do not travel free of charge if they occupy their own seat or sleeper berth.
Q: What if I am prepared to nurse my infant on my lap or share my sleeper berth with my infant? A: Infants up to three years of age travel free of charge when nursed by a parent. Each fare paying parent is restricted to nursing only one infant free of charge.
Q: What do I pay if I want my infant to occupy their own seat or sleeper berth? A: Your infant is booked as a child and the applicable child fare will be charged.
Q: Can I order a cot for my infant? A: Upon request, a cot can be provided for guests occupying a Gold Service twin-share cabin. Please request a cot at the time of booking. Due to space restrictions, cots cannot be arranged for Gold Service Single cabins, or in Red Service Sleeper cabins or Red Service Day/Nighter Seats.
Q: Can I take my pram/stroller/booster seat onboard the train? A: No, these items must be checked in as stored luggage.
Q: Can I take my walking frame/wheelchair/scooter onboard the train? A: No, these items must be checked in as stored luggage. A specially modified wheelchair can be requested for use onboard the train (with the assistance of a carer or travelling companion). Please inform us at the time of booking if you require a wheelchair.
Q: What is the difference between Gold Twin Share Cabins and Gold Single Cabins ? A : Gold Twin share cabins are slightly larger and have an small ensuite bathroom/shower. Single Cabins have a number of shared bathrooms in the carriage. Meals and service are exactly the same. An advantage of the Gold single cabins is that no one needs to climb into the top bunk, so a couple could have two single cabins side by side, (with the doors open you can still chat!)
Q: Why are some Ghan packages sometimes more expensive than what is quoted? A: The Ghan packages are a blend of Ghan travel, touring and accommodation. Over certain periods some of these touring/accommodation providers prices may vary. Tours companies sometimes have peak, shoulder and low season rates. Accommodation providers may charge surcharges on certain Long Week Ends and special events. If you request a package the price will be confirmed to you shortly.