I don’t take the idea of traveling New South Wales by Rail for granted. I once won a bet with my dad about when the railway stopped into my home town. He wouldn’t believe that I remembered it. But, I did. I remembered looking up, small as I was, over the dashboard of my aunt’s Volkswagen Beetle, Alex. It was mint green and I felt so special sitting in the passenger seat of that car singing ‘Frère Jacques’ and ‘Lemon Tree, very pretty’ with her as we drove along the dirt roads.
I’m on record as saying that trains are my favourite form of travel, but the reality is that in my home state there are few routes where trains make sense. Australia is such a vast country, and New South Wales is definitely no exception. In 2013, ‘Private or company vehicle’ (88.8%) was the most popular form of transport used by visitors to regional NSW, followed by ‘air transport’ (5.5%) and ‘railway’ (2.4%).(1). It’s sad, but completely practical.
New South Wales is the most populous state in Australia with 7,272,800 in population – and even though it is the 5th largest in size, this large state means that you really need a vehicle to get around outside the very largest of cities!
Beginning in Tamworth
The journey will begin in Tamworth, which reportedly had a population of 44970 in 2007. This population is swelled by the regional area which seeks out Tamworth for much of their specialist services, hospitals, and educational institutions.
This is where I will board the first train. Where I will travel across New South Wales by rail!
The majority of railways in New South Wales are currently operated by the state government. Some lines began as branch-lines of railways starting in other states. For instance, Balranald near the Victorian border was connected by a rail line coming up from Victoria and into New South Wales. Another line beginning in Adelaide crossed over the border and stopped at Broken Hill.
Railways management are conducted by Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink which maintain rolling stock. Sydney Trains operates trains within Sydney while NSW TrainLink operates outside Sydney, intercity, country and interstate services.
I will catch the train to Newcastle – to where I lived for 18 months. A beach city of 523,662 people (June 2007). The following day I’ll head north to Brisbane (Qld)!
- Travel from Tamworth to Newcastle (during the day)
- Night in Newcastle
- Day in Newcastle
- Train overnight from Newcastle to Brisbane.
Where you come in!
Do you have any other ideas for traveling New South Wales by rail. I’d love any ideas, feedback, suggestions or thoughts you might have. This is sort of a ‘choose your own adventure’ so on the facebook page I’ll be asking questions about where you think I should go on this trip. Your comments, advice and links to other resources that might be useful will be most welcome on the posts I’ll be putting up about the whole Overland from Oz adventure. The planning is just as much part of the adventure as the actual trip!
Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.
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Traveler. Scholar. Photographer. Writer. Dreamer. Teacher. Not a Pedestrian Life is a crazy adventure marked with photos and word and inspired by the incredible women in Anna’s family, especially her late grandmother, whom she knew as Nan-Nan.