Along the Old Ghan Line
by Jeremy Browne
The twelve-hundred kilometre narrow gauge railway from Port Augusta to Alice Springs served the Outback of Australia for 100 years. Starting in 1878 as the Port Augusta and Government Gums Railway, it became the Great Northern Railway and then the Central Australian Railway. The once or twice a week passenger train became known as the ‘Ghan’.
Partially by-passed in the 1950s, the old narrow gauge line was closed in 1980 and the rails pulled up. Two sections have survived – the first 40 kms through Pichi Richi Pass which operates as a Heritage Railway and the final 23 kms into Alice Springs, which currently no longer operates.
Although the rails have gone, there is still much to see along the route. The author has compiled this Guide to the old railway – what is there and what was there and how to find locations, mostly through his own travels and with his photographs taken over more than fifty years.