The Trans - Australian was a passenger, who first sailed the Transaustralische Railway between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie.

  • 3.1 Literature
  • 3.2 Other sources


The Transaustralische railway went into operation in 1917. It was built to standard gauge and was thus between the railway from Western Australia and the Great Northern Railway, both at that time in Cape gauge, a stand-alone operation. The Trans - Australian therefore initially operated only in this section. At both ends of each connecting trains were ready. The Transaustralische railroad was extended from 1937 to Port Pirie, where connection was to the 1600 mm network of the Railways of South Australia, and thus one of the four interchanges on the route Perth - Sydney accounted for. 1968 Transaustralische railway between Kalgoorlie and Perth was a third track for the standard gauge - extended to the Western Australia's capital - and thus the path of the Trans - Australian.

In 1970 the standard gauge track between Port Pirie and Broken Hill was put into operation. In order for the transcontinental connection was Perth - Sydney first continuous section with a train. For this, the Indian Pacific was established. As a result, the number of passengers of the Trans - Australian fell sharply, which initially led to a reduction in the number of journeys and finally in 1991 to its setting.

The train

The Trans - Australian was initially a pure sleeper.

The German train set

In March 1951, the Commonwealth Railways issued a consortium led by the company Wegmann & Co. the contract to build two new train sets for the Trans - Australian. It was the first contract for the construction of passenger coaches, which was awarded to Australia from Germany. The trains were manufactured in Kassel. They consisted of nine cars were permanently coupled together as units and similar to the VT 08 and VT 12 with the transitions. Specifically, consisted of a set:

  • A service car is also the stuff, generator and personnel sleeper,
  • Three sleeping cars second car class, of which about one third are society compartment,
  • A dining car with 48 seats and kitchen,
  • A saloon car first class with women, music and smoking lounge. In the music room there was a piano out of a radio receiver, music locker, record player and tape recorder. The walls adorned wood inlays, which also showed the Hercules and the fountains in the mountain park William height among others.
  • Three sleeper first class (two- bed compartments ), the final at the same time as the pulpit cart with a view room end of the car.

The train was fully air-conditioned and offered a total of 52 beds first and 88 second class.

Within 16 months, the two identical trains were planned and built. Then some of the cars were tested and the Federal Railroad Experimental Bureau Minden German Federal Railroad and there were trial runs between Kassel and Fulda on the Frankfurt- Bebra railway and the Friedrich -Wilhelms- North train instead. As of August 1952, the trains were shipped via Bremen to their destination and still put in the same year in operation.

When the railroad Transaustralische 1970 could be driven between Perth and Sydney, the vehicles were replaced with more modern stainless steel. The Wegmann train was umgespurt on Cape gauge and now came between Marree and Alice Springs on the Great Northern Railway for use. As the track in 1980 replaced by the new central Australian Railway and the operation was set to the old route, reached a part of the train to the care of The Ghan Preservation Society. South of Alice Springs was a railway museum at the former narrow gauge route. Also an exhibition on the history of The Ghan is located there. The hotel grounds are vehicles that were in The Ghan in use - including cars of Wegmann train - shown. The museum led to a residual distance to Mt Ertiva a museum movement of such vehicles by - both steam and diesel traction. After the line was so strong washed away after a rain, that it is no longer passable and a repair to 4 million A $ is estimated, but no money can be applied, even this radical operation is probably history.

Further development

The Trans - Australian led for the first time in the 1960s, also car seat, a service of the first but was abandoned. 1981 Seat cars were re-introduced.

Establishments was the first train of the Commonwealth Railways and after they had gone up in 1975 in the Australian National, by the latter. The Australian National put the train then in 1991 a.