Media Release – December 27, 2018

Low solo traveller supplement of only 10 percent

A never-before-offered railway adventure will see slow travel lovers enjoy a heritage steam and diesel journey across NSW and VIC in May 2019.

This unique, six-day ‘Great Southern Loop’ tour has been launched by Cruise Express in response to an ever-increasing demand for long-distance heritage rail travel.

The ‘Loop’ begins on May 30, 2019, when the newly restored diesel locomotive 42103, built in Granville in 1966, hauls heritage carriages from Sydney’s Central Station onto the Great Southern Line. Passengers will relax in period lounge, seating and compartment cars with windows than open for a fresh breeze and a better view of the ever-changing countryside.  From Goulburn, steam locomotive 5917, built in 1952, will take the train to Junee, allowing travellers to enjoy the sights and sounds of travel when steam ruled the rails.

After lunch in the historic, 134 year-old Junee Railway Station Cafe, the journey continues by diesel to Albury for a night’s accommodation at the uber-modern Atura Hotel. From Albury, passengers will ride the iconic Spirit of Progress train to Melbourne. The former express train served the Melbourne-Sydney route from 1937 to 1986. Heritage locomotives will haul the original carriages including compartment, kiosk and parlor cars.

After a night in the Victorian capital, the giant, blue steam locomotive R711, built in 1952, will thunder to Seymour for breakfast and then head to Echuca where passengers will board a Murray paddle steamer for a lunch cruise. History will then be made when the train crosses the border to Deniliquin – the first time steam has traced the route in more than 20 years. A coach transfer to the Riverina capital of Griffith will see the group enjoy a private and exclusive wine tasting session at De Bortoli Wines and an authentic Italian lunch at the Piccolo Family Farm.

After two nights in Griffith, diesel and steam locomotives will take passengers along railway lines that seldom or never see passenger traffic north to Parkes to visit the ‘Dish’ – the huge, movie-famous CSIRO Observatory Radio Telescope.  After a night in Parkes, diesel and steam locos will take passengers back to Sydney via Orange, Bathurst, Lithgow and the Blue Mountains.

Including travel on privately chartered heritage trains, sightseeing and escorted by Cruise Express tour managers, the new, five-night ‘Great Southern Loop’ tour from Sydney on May 30, 2019, is available from $3440 per person, twin-share, and $3790 for solo travellers.