Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions, operators of the famous Ghan, Indian Pacific, and Overland rail journeys, is bringing a new rail journey experience to the Northern Grampians in the coming months.
Each Friday afternoon from Friday 6 December 2019 through January 2020, the Great Southern will stop at Stawell Railway Station as part of the Grampians Off-Train Experience for all the guests on-board the latest addition to the company’s rail experience repertoire.
The Great Southern will take guests through South-East Australia, between Adelaide and Brisbane, and will join The Overland which currently operates twice a week through Stawell.
About 230 guests will disembark at Stawell Train Station during the eight-week initial season of the Great Southern before travelling to Halls Gap for a range of booked/planned activities.
Due to the length of the Great Southern train, there will be extended stoppages at the Seaby Street and Sloane Street rail crossings while guests disembark the train.
The train will be stopped across the Seaby Street rail crossing for three to five minutes at 3:48pm each Friday before pulling forward to a second stopping position.
The train will then stop across the Sloane Street Crossing for a further three to five minutes at 3:58pm while guests alight from the train.
Great Southern will then depart Eastbound at 4:03pm.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Murray Emerson, said the slight disruption to the rail crossings is a small price to pay for the tourism opportunities the new rail expedition offers the region.
“The Great Southern is very welcome in Stawell and will be a fantastic addition to the tourism opportunities on offer in the Northern Grampians,” he said.
“Drivers in Stawell are asked to take note of the changes to the rail crossings, obey the directions of the crossing signs and warnings, and to be patient; three to five minutes isn’t a long time to wait.
“We know that the kinds of journeys that come through and stop in the region encourage return visitors. Tourists get a taste for the area and often return to experience it time and again.
“This, in turn, strengthens our out-of-region tourism and increases our overall visitors, this is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our region to new people and travellers.”
Luke Walker, Journey Beyond’s Chief Operating Officer, said they are looking forward to bringing their exciting new journey to Stawell.
“We’re excited to be able to showcase a new route for guests from around Australia, and indeed the world,” he said.
“The Great Southern’s stop in Stawell will provide guests the chance to experience the spectacular Grampians and enjoy the region’s amazing produce and generous hospitality.”