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Australia > Long Distance Australian Train Journeys > Upgrading To Better AccomodationAlice Springs station nameboard over Ghan carriages

Long Distance Australian Train Journeys - Upgrades to Better Accomodation

A guide for backpacker and budget travellers

The pages in this series of articles on the Long Distance Train Journeys of Australia all apply to the basic 'Red' service, which is the name that Great Southern Rail (GSR), the train's operators, use for their Economy service. 'Red' class is the only class that the various rail-passes cover. However, if you have some extra money available, then there are a variety of upgrades available on the 'Indian Pacific' and 'Ghan' long distance trains.

From a Seat to a Bed
As mentioned before, once on the train you can upgrade from a Red Day-Nighter seat to a Red sleeper for just $200/night, as long as there are some spare compartments available. Buying a Red sleeper ticket at the ticket office before the trip starts is more expensive, but will at least guarantee that you get one.

GSR attendant Cosette poses at Alice Springs stationGoing for Gold
Up from Red comes the Gold Service, which has its own dining car and lounge car. The accomodation comes in the form of single or twin berth sleepers, that fold away during the day to turn into a spacious seated compartment. There's also a Gold Service Superior Cabin, which for an extra charge provides a 3/4-size double bed, which most couples should be comfortable in, and an additional upper berth, where you can keep your child, mother in law, or girlfriend, as the fancy strikes you. You get your own lounge area with table, armchairs, a DVD player with a range of movies, and a fridge stocked with complimentary refreshments. For further details, see the GSR Gold service External link opens a new Browser window page.

Platinum Luxury
If you still have money to spend, you can also choose the Platinum Service, available as a twin or a double, and very nice they are too. As expected, this is even more luxurious than the Gold Service, and gives you a full range of excellent facilities, a bigger panoramic window, controlable lights, movable furniture, premium fittings, quality bedding, and much much more. Gold and Platinum Classes both share the 'Outback Explorer' lounge carriage, and the 'Queen Adelaide' restaurant carriage. For further details, see the GSR Platinum Service External link opens a new Browser window page.

A private GSR carriage waits at Sydney's Central StationPrivate Carriages
If you have won the lottery, then why not have your own private carriage to cross Australia in? There are four different carriages to choose from:

  • The Prince of Wales Carriage - originally built in 1919, it accomodates 10 people in four twins and 2 large single cabins, and has its own private lounge area, and a central full-sized bathroom.
  • The Sir John Forest Carriage - accomodates up to six people in one double and two twins. Has its own boardroom seating up to twelve, plus generous lounge, large picture windows, kitchen and bar facilities, plus much more.
  • The Governor's Lounge - this is the sister carriage to the Prince of Wales Carriage. It has no sleeping accomodation, but can cope with thirty guests for cocktails, or twenty seated in theatre style. There's a television and a piano, plus large picture windows, armchairs, minibars, and plenty more.
  • The Chairman's Carriage - the ultimate in great train experiences, it accomodates up to eight people in two doubles and two twins. Ensuite bathrooms, lounge, and your own bar and kitchen facilities.
So there you go - some wonderful choices for that trip of a lifetime - the only thing that you have to decide now is who's expense account to charge it all to. Joking apart, if you have a large group of friends or family, the cost of hiring one of these carriages is not that much more than the berths in Platinum Service. If you need an extra traveller to make up the numbers, just contact me.

Buy your rail pass here:

Still keen and want to find out more? Please visit the other pages in this article:Ghan logo and nameboard on carriage at Alice Springs station

  1. Introduction
  2. Tickets And Passes - Where To Buy Them
  3. On Board The Train - Seating
  4. On Board The Train - Food
  5. On Board The Train - Facilities
  6. On Board The Train - Photography
  7. On Board The Train - Ghan And Overland Differences
  8. Packing List - Essential Items For The Journey
  9. Upgrading To Better Accomodation - THIS PAGE
  10. Whistlestop Tours
  11. Station Notes
  12. Great Southern Rail Train Photo Gallery

The photographs on these pages were all taken on my recent 32,000km journey around Australia. Click any image to see a larger version. The photographs are all available for licensing in a range of sizes - please Contact Me for details.

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