There are few better ways to explore the Australian countryside than by rail, more specifically heritage rail. We are delighted to now offer bespoke and exclusive tours on Australia’s oldest express train, the Spirit of Progress.
On 17 November 1937, at Spencer Street Station in Melbourne, Victorian Premier Albert Dunstan took a special gold key and opened the door of a brand new world-class train – the ‘Spirit of Progress’. Launched in a blaze of publicity the all steel train ushered in unheard of levels of comfort on the express run from Melbourne to Albury. Featuring air-conditioned carriages with beautiful wood veneers, a dining car and a special observation or Parlor Car, the train ran the route to the border for 25 years.
In April 1962 the NSW standard gauge line was extended into Victoria which allowed the Spirit of Progress to travel all the way from Melbourne to Sydney. Running in tandem with the then brand new Southern Aurora, the train ran nightly in each direction. By the mid 1980’s, with the development of better roads and cheaper airfares, the overnight express trains had become obsolete. The ‘Spirit’ and the ‘Aurora’ ran their last runs in August 1986. The Spirit of Progress never ran in NSW again.
34 years later in March 2021 you will have the chance to join the Spirit of Progress on one of our exclusive tours featuring this historic train.