The Ghan Passenger Train Locomotive Australia
I took Theses Photos at the Keswick Railway Station just out of the city of Adelaide in the state of South Australia. The Ghan is a passenger train operating between Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Darwin on the Adelaide-Darwin railway in Australia. Operated by Great Southern Railway and with locomotives provided by Pacific National, the entire journey takes 48 hours to travel the 2,979 kilometres (1,852 miles) and around half that (24 hours) to the mid-point at Alice Springs. The service's name is an abbreviated version of its previous nickname The Afghan Express, unofficially bestowed on the "express passenger" service of the Commonwealth Railways in 1923, by one of its crew In fact, the train's current name honours Afghan camel drivers who arrived in Australia in the late 19th century to help find a way to reach the country's unexplored interior.
The original Ghan was notorious for washouts and other delays on the line, and the flatcar immediately behind the tender carried spare sleepers and railway tools, so that if a washout was encountered the passengers and crew could work as a railway gang to repair the line and permit the train to continue. This appalling service was tolerated because steam trains needed water, and Stuart's route to Alice Springs was the only one that had available water. During World War 2 the service was greatly expanded, putting pressure on the limited water supplies. As a result, de-mineralisation towers were built along the track so that bore water could be used, and some survive to this day. When steam was replaced by diesel, there was no need for water, and the line was re-routed to the waterless (but more reliable) route from Tarcoola to Alice Springs.
Picture added on 25 March 2011 at 19:25