The name The Overland is derived from the term Overlander, who described a traveling across the country adventurers in the 19th century. The name is used for the train since 1935, according to other sources since 1926.
The train was the first time on January 19, 1887 under the name Intercolonial Express. It was a pure sleeper, who, as both railway companies used the same track width of 1600 mm, could operate continuously. He needed for the then nearly 900 km long distance 18 hours. Later, the train was officially called Adelaide Express, even if he was called in South Australia as The Melbourne Express. The vehicles used presented both participating railways, Victoria and South Australian Railways Railways, together. Besides its importance for travelers as the first fast connection between the two capitals of the train was also responsible for the postal transport of meaning: transhipped from England by ship Post in Adelaide landed post was on the train and was a day earlier in Melbourne and Sydney, as if they would have remained on the ship.
However, the travel time was too long in the long run. 1922, the entire infrastructure of the route were therefore revised and purchasing new, more powerful locomotives. From 1926 the train led to a partial route to and from Melbourne dining car. 1928 Pullman cars from the United States were procured, the heaviest passenger cars that have ever been used in Australia. These were gradually replaced from 1949 by carriage made of stainless steel. There were two types of sleeping cars:
- Roomette: A bed per cabin, the cabins were located on either side of a center aisle. Showers and toilets were located at the end of the car. Of these, there were eight cars.
- Twinette: Two bunk beds per compartment, the compartments were arranged along a side canal. Each compartment had its own shower and toilet. Of these there were ten cars.
From 1951 the steam locomotives were replaced by diesel locomotives. The journey time could be reduced to 14 hours. In 1976, the Australian National Railways and the South Australian Railways, together with Victoria operator of the train. The latter left the operating consortium in 1994, so that the Australian National train in the sequence operation alone. At the same time the distance between Melbourne and Adelaide on Maroona and Geelong was provided with a track to standard gauge, umgespurt the train and then passed through this route.
Since 1997, the train of the Great Southern Railway (GSR ) on a 828 km long standard gauge route will be operated. The GSR is a railway company, on the standard gauge network in Australia also operates other known long-distance trains such as the Indian Pacific and The Ghan.
The offer The Overland persists because it is supported by the State of Victoria with 1.5 million Australian dollars per year. It was in 2007 completely reorganized: the sleeper has been replaced by one daily. There will be two classes:
- Red Premium (First Class ), open seating car with a seating 2 1
- Red Standard (Second class) seating car with a 2 2 seating
In both classes, the seats can be adjusted in each direction of travel. The train operates between the two classes BordBistro and also car transport wagons on which cars and motorcycles can be taken, and a luggage and generator car. The travel time is 10.5 hours today. The train runs three times a week in each direction. Twelve seats are kept in each train for passengers to the tariffs of the V / Line for travel between holding the train in Victoria.