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Journey Beyond reveals new look carriages for The Ghan, Indian Pacific and Great Southern

The interstate trains will be enhanced with designs inspired by iconic Indigenous artist Albert Namatjira.

A rendering of the new-look Gold cabins

Designs reflecting the rich colourful landscapes of Indigenous Australian artist Albert Namatjira will soon be represented in revised interiors coming to Gold-standard carriages on Journey Beyond’s interstate railway adventures - The Ghan, Indian Pacific and Great Southern.

Global interior design firm Woods Bagot, which oversaw upgrade works to the fleet’s Platinum rolling stock in 2019, has been tasked with the latest works, aimed at incorporating “a sense of place” into all three trains.

Efforts from the $10 million project will be introduced over the next five years as enhanced Gold standard carriages are reincorporated back into the fleet in phases.

The Outback Explorer lounge will take on a more rustic earth colour.

The iconic landscapes of Namatjira’s capture the best of central Australia, with his defining Ghost Gums juxtaposed against the rich red earth, paper bark, gum trees and terracotta, and will be converted to commercial-grade textiles by Melbourne-based upholsterer firm Willie Weston.

Along with the new designs, carriages will receive bespoke carpets, new bedding and a variety of other small touches to enhance passenger comfort.

The new designs will also be introduced in the Outback Explorer social lounges, which will see a natural stone bar, leather banquettes and swivel chairs added along with mood lighting to suit different times of the day.

Queen Adelaide Restaurant will be enhanced with booth-style seating with stone and timber elements along with a pressed metal ceiling to reflect a premium dining experience.

The Queen Adelaide Restaurant will add booth seating and a metallic ceiling.

Journey Beyond Executive General Manager, David Donald, said a key element of the upgrade is an acknowledgement of the ownership of the land on which its railways operate.

“This significant investment is part of our commitment to continue to elevate these carriages with designs that further connect our guests with an Australian rail experience,” Donald said.

“At the same time, the new designs reference the heritage of these train journeys.

“The Ghan, for example, has been around for more than 90 years – with art-deco detailing ensuring the romance of rail continues to be inherent in the experience.

“These train journeys are an important piece of Australian history, but they are also world-class tourism experiences that continue to have broad appeal.”

The first renovated carriages will be back in service by the end of 2023.

The Indian Pacific crosses Australia between Sydney and Perth.

Alongside the reveal of the new carriages, Journey Beyond has also launched its full rail season program for 2024, featuring preset itineraries with rail trips and off-train excursions from sister brand Outback Spirit.

Highlighted packages include the 11-day 'Coastal Cruiser' which begins in Adelaide with a train journey to Brisbane before boarding Princess Cruises' Coral Princess for a round-trip Queensland coastal cruise to the Whitsundays, priced from $4,630ppts.

For a longer adventure, there's also the 19-day 'Outback to Ocean with Kakadu' holiday, combining a rail adventure on The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin before boarding Ponant's Le Laperouse for a 10-night Kimberley cruise.


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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 27 February 2023

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