The Ghan

The Ghan, Now A Kilometer Long, Is Australia’s Longest Train

Written by: Jovanka Ristich
Date: 23rd May 2016

The legendary cross continental Ghan embarked on a record-breaking rail journey this weekend, departing Adelaide on 22nd May as Australia’s longest passenger train in over a decade.

Link to a short film of the journey

The Ghan, miles rowland

Consisting of 44 carriages and two locomotives, The Ghan’s Sunday service headed for Darwin at a total length of 1,096m, in other words over one kilometer, more than 200m longer than the standard Ghan service, and a staggering 6.5 times the length of the Adelaide Oval, Australia’s famous cricket field.

This is also the longest passenger train seen in Australia since The Ghan’s own inaugural Adelaide to Darwin journey in 2004.

Great Southern Rail’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Steve Kernaghan, said the record-breaking length of The Ghan reflected increasing demand for rail holidays in Australia.

The Ghan has enjoyed a surge in customer demand over the past 12 months thanks to our all- inclusive fares and new tour options in Alice Springs and Katherine. Amazing outback destinations are at the heart of The Ghan experience.”


  • 327 Platinum and Gold Service guests
  • 44 carriages and two locomotives including:
    • 22 guest carriages
    • 6 restaurant 
    • 5 lounge carriages
    • crew, powervan and luggage carriages
  • The train is split across three platforms to board the guests
  • Total weight – 2,156 tonnes
  • 55 on-board crew members who, over the return journey:
    • Make 1,300 beds
    • Serve 100kg of barramundi and 190kg of vegetables
    • Cook more than 3,000 eggs for breakfast


  • This Sunday Ghan service kicks off nine consecutive weeks of kilometre-long trains departing Adelaide.
  • In this period, The Ghan will take 5,884 Platinum and Gold Service guests.
  • Over three days and two nights, The Ghan travels 2,972km between Adelaide and Darwin.
  • This weekly service departs Adelaide on Sundays and Darwin on Wednesdays and includes Off Train Excursions at Alice Springs and Katherine.