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  • I have noticed that there is some inconsistency in what policies are followed regarding bookings and concession cards
  • It is not a problem to take whatever food you want with you and will definitely save money
  • The best advice I can give to anyone wanting to travel by train based on my experiences are if you are a smoker (as I am) get yourself some nicotine gum or patches because there is no way to have a cigarette on the trip

    • by karmageddon
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      I have taken many trips on the Australia wide rail network and found that both the positive and negative aspects are pretty consistent regardless of where I have gotten on or off and the times and days traveled.

      For short trips of around three hours or less I find the train to be a tolerable and affordable option. It would not be possible to drive for the same amount with or without a concession. The most annoying thing is that the trains are often late. I spent a year going from Albury to Wagga and back on weekends, which is one hour and fifteen minutes, but more often than not it would take a full two hours or more because of the trains not being able to run on time.

      Most of the time I have not had any problems with any of the staff. I really appreciate them because I have a disability and often need a bit of help to get off the train or to make sure that I


      do not fall asleep and miss my stop. I have never been refused any help or been forgotten about during the trip. I have noticed that there is some inconsistency in what policies are followed regarding bookings and concession cards. A few staff have insisted that they always ask for photo ID to verify a concession despite the fact that 99.9% of the time this has not happened. Slightly more often they claim that a booking is necessary for concession fares. Of course it is a good idea to get a booking and eliminates the need to line up at the concession car and buy a ticket when you get on, but I have only ever seen trains filled to capacity during holidays and long weekends. Most of the time there is a whole car or more empty.

      On longer trips even with a concession card, for example between Sydney and Brisbane the fare is comparable to flying which is the far more attractive option. By plane to Sydney to Brisbane takes ...


      • one hour but by train is over fourteen hours. Sleeper cars, where the seats fold out into a bed, are a slightly more pleasant option but close to double the amount of the trip.

        There is nothing at all to do on the train if you don’t bring a book or preferably a portable DVD player with you. I find it hard to sleep during the day because it is noisier and seems to be when people with kids most often travel. I always ask for an odd numbered seat because they are window seats. It is impossible to sleep otherwise. I have tried every way possible to sleep in an aisle seat and it is not the slightest bit pleasant or restful. I have never known the staff to say anything about people lying across both seats to sleep at night when no-one is sitting next to them. They are pretty considerate about giving people space whenever they can.

        I have never been able to figure out the difference between first class

        and economy besides the price. The seats are very slightly (a couple of centimeters bigger) and there is a little more leg room. Not worth an extra $50.

        There is a good range of food although it is quite expensive for what it is. It is not a problem to take whatever food you want with you and will definitely save money.

        The best advice I can give to anyone wanting to travel by train based on my experiences are if you are a smoker (as I am) get yourself some nicotine gum or patches because there is no way to have a cigarette on the trip. Take your own food and drink. Ask for an odd numbered seat - which is the best way to get two seats to yourself because the computer booking system has no sense when assigning seats and packs people in like sardines. Research and compare airfares and if you are taking a long trip and book as far in advance as possible because often discounts are available for early bookings.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in September, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 382709849950630/k2311a0927/9.27.09
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