Heritage Rail Tours - Frequently asked questions for travelling aboard

Cruise Express

Cruise and Rail Specialists


What is the experience?
What are the inclusions?
What is not included?
You’re less mobile?
Is this trip suitable for you?
Do you cater for special dietary requirements?
What are the trains like?
What hotels do you use?
Are transfers and touring included?
What luggage should I bring?
How do I know where to sit?
Departure times?
Is there free time on the trip?
What about timetables and delays?
Can I join at other stations?
What if I’m travelling alone?
Are there medical facilities on the train?
Do I need travel insurance?
What is the booking process?
Our peace of mind offer
Cancellation and refund

The overall experience
We have been running escorted heritage Rail Journeys since 2016. Since then we have welcomed over 2,000 passengers on nearly 30 tours. Our tours feature heritage trains from rail motors to famous names such as the Spirit of Progress and Southern Aurora.

Each tour allows you to step back in time, relax and let us take care of all the details. Each train provides a unique experience, some having windows that open providing a great connection between you and the passing countryside. Air-conditioned trains provide comfort in all weather conditions, often having lounge cars which are a great way to socialise and make friends.

If you would like to get a feel of what the tours are like, please visit our Photo Gallery and Experiences pages.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Each tour differs however, a detailed list of inclusions is available on the product and brochure pages. Generally speaking however the tour will include your rail travel, most or all transfers, hotel accommodation, some meals and touring.

What is not included?
Alcoholic beverages (unless specified)
Items of a personal nature
special dietary food and snacks outside those we cater for

While this tour does not require a special level of fitness however for your own safety and the overall benefit of the group, all passengers must possess a reasonable level of mobility.

We want all our guests to have a great time on one of our Heritage Escorted Rail Journeys. To ensure we are all kept safe we will ask you to agree to a few questions regarding your personal mobility during the booking process.

We ask that you agree to:

  • not rely on tour staff or fellow passengers for personal physical assistance
  • are in good health and/or are fit to travel on this tour
  • can negotiate railway stations without assistance
  • can use the onboard toilet facilities on a moving train
  • are able to embark and disembark trains, coaches and other methods of transportation without assistance
  • are able to climb and descend steps and stairs unaided
  • are able to handle your own luggage
  • are able to use combined shower/bath facilities (it is not possible to guarantee walk-in shower facilities at our hotels)

Is this trip suitable for you?
Heritage rail journeys are a fun and unique way of exploring our country. The trains however they were built in a different era and were not built with facilities or access points suitable for those with mobility issues.

You should be aware that access to and aboard all trains can be tight, particularly in toilets, corridors and buffet or dining areas.

For the safety of our passengers and the onboard crew, we are unable to accept passengers who require the use of mobility equipment including wheelchairs and walkers.

Passengers found to be requiring mobility assistance or equipment, are unwell or unable to safely participate in the tour may be denied boarding on the day of departure.

Special dietary requirements
We offer three meal or snack variations as part of our inclusions:
Gluten free

You can indicate this during the booking process. We will confirm and acknowledge your request prior to departure. If you have a dietary requirement outside these guidelines you may need to bring some suitable food with you especially for the train journey.

Most of the towns and cities we visit have an array of restaurants, cafes and supermarkets where it will be possible for you to buy something for your specific needs. Unfortunately due to space and catering restrictions, we cannot offer other options.

How do I know where to sit?
You will be allocated a reserved seat. You can move around the train during travel with normal safety advice. The trains we use on our tours vary widely in both age and layout. Some trains will have air-conditioning and some will not. You will be advised of this at the time of booking. Seating may not always face in the direction of travel. Additionally, the train may change directions throughout the journey. We are happy to accept requests for seating but do be aware this cannot be guaranteed.

TIP: In colder weather you might like to bring a blanket or cushion for extra warmth and comfort

Our Hotels
We use superior accommodation wherever possible. All our hotels are regularly inspected and most we have used many times. In smaller towns it may be necessary to separate the group across different properties. We always try to ensure friends are accommodated together and properties are of a similar standard.

Transfers and touring
In most towns and cities we will transfer you between the Station and the hotel and return in an air-conditioned coach. Where the station is across the road from the hotel a short walk may be required.

We often include local touring to enable you to see the ‘highlights’ of a town or city quickly.

TIP: Bring a pair of walking shoes, a change of shoes and layer your clothes to suit different climates

Some trains such as rail motors have very limited space for luggage, while others will have a dedicated baggage car. You will be notified at the time of booking of any restrictions on the amount or size of luggage you are permitted to bring with you.

Generally speaking, you will not have access to your luggage while aboard the train. You may wish to consider bringing with you a small backpack or bag for things such as medications and cameras that you can keep with you throughout the journey.

Additionally if flying to join the tour you will be restricted by the airline luggage capacity.

Remember – You have to handle your own luggage!

TIP: Make sure your bag has wheels for ease of movement between hotel, coach and train

Lanyard with your details
On arrival at the train, you will be provided with a lanyard and ticket, which shows your name, carriage and seat number. This provides secure access to the train and shows you as being part of our group throughout the journey.

Where we are staying at more than one hotel, it will also show you which you are staying, so you never need to remember where you are sitting or staying!

Departure times
Please pay special attention to all train departure times, as that the train will not wait for latecomers. We strongly recommend you arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before departure.

If an early departure is required we will offer you an overnight stay prior to departure at the closest hotel to the station to maximise your sleep!

At other stops your Tour Managers will advise how long we will be stopped for. It is always your responsibility to make sure you’re back onboard in time!

Is there free time on the trip?
Most tours are scheduled to include time on your own for exploration or relaxation. We also where possible include short stops at stations to allow you to stretch your legs.

Timetables and Delays
Heritage or ‘special’ trains are given the last priority on all rail networks over freight or other scheduled passenger trains. When planning our tours we endeavour to schedule our timings around other trains.

Things do however change and we can be affected by other late-running or failed services, weather, infrastructure failure or even livestock! You will be constantly updated throughout the journey by your Tour Managers regarding our progress or any delays or changes. Sometimes we even arrive early!

In the event that a line closes or we are faced with significant delays, we may choose to operate part of the tour by coach. This is however rare.

TIP: Why not bring along a good book, sudoku, crochet or knitting?

Regional embarkation and disembarkation
Please note we are generally unable to pick up or set down at other stations within metropolitan areas. Joining the train at other stations outside metropolitan areas is occasionally possible. Please enquire.

Solo travellers
You are most welcome!. We look forward to having you onboard. Unfortunately, we are not able to ‘match’ travellers looking for somebody to share.

Onboard medical facilities
All trains are equipped with a medical first aid kit and staff who have current basic medical assistance training. If you require additional medical treatment out Tour Managers will coordinate this with medical authorities.

Do I need Travel Insurance?
We highly recommend travel insurance when travelling, even domestically. We suggest you arrange insurance cover at the time of making your deposit payment or as soon as possible after that. Please indicate during the booking process if you would like us to prepare a quote for you.

The booking process
The booking process for our Escorted Rail Journeys is fully automated. This means we can concentrate our efforts looking after you on your travels not manning a ‘call centre’. We have listed every Question and Answer we can think of for you about our rail trips but if we have missed something just email info@cruiseexpress.com.au or call 1300 766 537 . We will assist you with an answer as soon as possible.

Our peace of mind offer
In this age of uncertainty, we want to ensure you are booking with confidence. Where indicated we will offer you ‘peace of mind’ by a low deposit and ‘no questions asked’ refund policy. Please read this carefully in the booking process.

Cancellation and refund
Our peace of mind policy means that you can cancel up to 45 days prior to departure and receive your deposit back. No questions asked.

A cancellation link will be provided on each tour page.

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Get in touch
Suite 92/24 Buchanan Street Balmain NSW 2041
Suite 2/30 Karalta Road Erina NSW 2250
Suite 8/2 St Johns Avenue Gordon NSW 2072
Perth (contact us for a face to face meeting)