01 September, 2015

The Ghan - Australia's grand rail journey by Ian Grady and Don Fuchs

We all know of the Ghan, Australia's outback train, but this book gives us the full picture from the earliest exploration through the centre of the Australian continent, right through to the latest premier tourist service.

The book starts with the story of the telegraph service in the outback, then leads to the spread of settlers and their need for supplies and access. The name "Ghan" originates here; camels were imported to help transport goods to the remotest parts, and with them came Afghani camel handlers. They became known as "ghans" and the name of this outback service stuck, even though most of the Afghanis eventually returned home.

The Ghan now runs from Adelaide to Darwin, through famous places and landmarks like Port Augusta, Alice Springs, the ‘Red Centre’, Coober Pedy - where people have their houses underground due to the heat - and Katherine.  While the first part of the train service was constructed in the 1870’s, it took another 130 years before the Ghan service finally reached Darwin in 2004.

The book outlines the history of the service, details the various sections of the route and provides spectacular photos of the locations.  It is well laid out and easy to read.  If you have travelled on the Ghan, or are interested in going, or are just interested to learn more about this unique and historic service, then this will be a great read.

Title:The Ghan, Australia's grand rail journey
Author: Ian Grady and Don Fuchs

Recommended by Ana, Central Library.

Ana loves reading. She reads mainly fiction but also non-fiction and Scandinavian thrillers. I have many favourite authors but some of them are Ian McEwan, William Boyd, Lionel Shriver.

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