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Author Topic: Tooo-oot! Choo ch ch ch Choo ch ch ch...  (Read 3666 times)
RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« on: October 27, 2011, 05:48:24 PM »
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A few of the NSW Members are opting to travel across to the Nationals via the Indian Pacific. I'm aware that a few people have commented around the traps that it seemed very expensive and/or that putting your car on the train is asking for trouble.

Well, it's neither.

The Indian Pacific is a great deal, and you might like to consider it amongst your options for getting to Perth and/or coming home.

The list price of a Red Class ticket (twin room with bunks, own bathroom) is $1468 ex-Sydney according to the GSR site. Ex-Adelaide is $1114. (I didn't consider going Platinum or Gold Class - that is expensive.)

However, if you're a member of the YHA (Youth Hostels Association), the adult "Red Class" ticket is discounted from $1468 to $1071 ($739 ex-Adelaide). The annual fee for YHA is $42, so do the maths Grin For seniors like Dad it's about $800 ex-Sydney. As long as you're sharing a red class cabin, the cost to take your car is an additional $300. So it's costing Dad and I about $2150 all up to get us and our car to Perth. We plan on driving back - just for the experience. But the drive back will definitely cost us more. Petrol alone will be $1000, before food and accommodation for two people for 5-6 nights. And Dad drinks like a fish. Shocked

That train fare does not include meals, but the prices for food on the IP are very reasonable - main meals are $13, lunches about $10. You can take a "reasonable" amount of your own food with you (ie your own breakfast cereal etc - they would probably frown on a cage of live chickens.) And it's only 3.5 days on the train, not 6 days' driving. Personally, I don't want to have any mechanical issues or failures-to-proceed, but were one to happen, I'd rather it be on the way home than the way there: that would rather spoil the holiday...

The other really important aspect to consider is that taking your car on the IP has no weight restriction or limit on contents in the vehicle. In other words we can pack all the crap we like - clothes, car-parts, tools etc - into the car for the trip back. All the horror stories you hear about shipping cars involve freight-lines. Gary from WA says his father has shipped his car on it at least 4 times, and never had so much as a scratch. We're leaving Sydney on Wednesday, getting to Perth the Saturday prior to the Easter Weekend, to spend a week driving down to Albany and back. We'll head back home straight after the Nats.

So far there are 3 "couples" signed up. Anyway, hope this is useful information to you.

RET
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57effie
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 07:09:29 AM »
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A few years ago (probably 15) a mate of mine put his vintage truck on that train. When they got to Perth there was no access to the unloading ramp so the porters in their wisdom used a fork lift to unload the vehicles off the flat bed. They bent the tail shaft, crushed the muffler, dented the fuel tank and damaged the sills on the cab, as well as assorted paint damage. The response to my mates claim for damages was no liability accepted, travel at your risk, you should have taken out insurance before you left. The truck had been taken over to display in a rally. Not much point with the damage sustained which was really frustrating for him considering the effort he had made to get there. 
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RET
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richard.e.thomas ret56fe
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 11:29:21 AM »
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There are a lot of trains going across the Nullarbor. They're not all the same.

I've heard plenty of horror-stories about shipping cars across the continent on standard freight trains, but I find it hard to believe this occurred on the Indian Pacific.

http://rederail.org/site/travelinfo/motorail.jsp

http://www.holidaysallover.com/trains/great_train_journeys/indian_pacific/motorail.html#vehiclesizes

You are on the same train as the vehicle. You're there when they unload it so you can get in it and drive it away. It's not even a flat-bed, but a double-height car transporter carriage with hydraulic ramps.

This is a very different arrangement to turning up to collect your vehicle from some freight-yard.

Here are some pics of cars on the Indian Pacific. I don't see how you could use a forklift to remove them even if you wanted to.






I don't doubt that your mate's truck was shipped on a train, nor am I suggesting that it wasn't damaged. Obviously that happened. But I don't believe it was on the Indian Pacific.


If anyone is thinking of shipping their car unaccompanied via rail, the research I've done suggests containerising the car is the preferred, albeit more expensive way.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 11:37:24 AM by RET » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 07:36:47 PM »
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I dont know which train but they did travel with it. His truck was on a flat bed carriage not a carrier as the photo's show. I intended my post as a caution.

Mark
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