Thinking of going to Melbourne for a friend’s birthday, I consulted the rail timetable, as the train seemed to be a good option in terms of both comfort and environmental credentials. This, however, turned out to be a scripted joke of Monty Pythonesque proportions.
At http://www.railmaps.com.au/journey_results.php?Origin=Melbourne, you will find straight-faced descriptions of 4 ways to get from Melbourne to Canberra.
Assuming that these descriptions are correct, only one of these (the last option) involves making the entire journey by train: this can be done only 4 days a week and takes more than 15 hours, including a wait of 3-4 hrs in Goulburn.
The other options all involve transferring to a coach for substantial portions of the journey. It’s no wonder that people opt for $79 air fares, even when time is not the crucial factor. During my 17 years in the UK, I never owned a car but relied on inter-city trains for journeys ranging from 20 minutes to 8 hours.
Weekly NewsletterEvery Thursday afternoon, we package up the most-read and trending RiotACT stories of the past seven days and deliver straight to your inbox..
Is it not an embarrassment that the national capital has no decent passenger rail connections to our larger cities – or is this just me being old-school again?