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Katoomba Scenic Railway

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Australia & the Ghan

This fantastic rail adventure takes in many of Australia's natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Blue Mountains. A wonderful train journey on the legendary Ghan from Alice Springs to Adelaide is a real highlight, and time in Melbourne and Sydney to explore completes this holiday of a lifetime.

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23 days from £6,795 pp

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The historic Katoomba Scenic Railway, located in the stunning Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia, is the steepest cable-driven funicular railway in the world, with the steepest incline an astonishing 52 degrees. Passengers embark on a thrilling, unique journey in the 84 seat glass roofed red train carriage. The train travels through sandstone cliffs, through a rock tunnel beside the tree covered Orphan Rock, before emerging to stunning panoramic views of the lush, ancient rainforest. The Katoomba Scenic Railway is a major tourist attraction and is open every day of the year with a journey operating every ten minutes, meaning that this historic train can treat up to 840 passengers each hour to an exhilarating, memorable ride through the mountains.

Katoomba Railway was originally constructed in the 1880s to facilitate mining in the Jamison Valley, originally hauling coal and oil shale from the bottom of the valley up to the escarpment above. Locals soon began to see its potential as a tourist attraction, and from 1928 to 1945 the train was used for its intended purpose carrying coal during the week, with passengers using the train for leisure purposes at the weekends. After the coal mine was permanently closed in 1945 the Katoomba Scenic Railway remained open as a tourist attraction, and it remains popular to this day, with tourists travelling from all over the world to experience this historic, record breaking journey.

The Katoomba Scenic Railway is located in the town of Katoomba in the Blue Mountain region in New South Wales, around 64 miles west of Sydney. The town of Katoomba is popular with tourists due to its attractive mountain scenery, including the famous rock formation known as The Three Sisters which is viewable from Echo Point, around 1.5 miles south of the main town.

The entire Katoomba Scenic Railway closed in 2013 for modernisation work on both the carriages and tracks. These updates saw customised seats installed in the carriages, which give passengers the option to adjust their seated position by up to 20 degrees. Passengers can choose from three different seating positions when making this trip, all offering varying degrees of tilt. The 'Original' 52 degree incline is the standard option, and gives the most accurate representation of the original 19th century journey, while two added options allow passengers the choice to further customise their trip. The 'Cliffhanger' tilts passengers forward to ride at an exhilarating 64 degree incline, perfect for thrill seekers, while the 'Laid Back' option offers a more sedate journey with the incline lessened to a more relaxed 44 degrees, ideal for those seeking a more laid back ride.

A journey on the Katoomba Scenic Railway is a unique and unforgettable experience. Once a 19th century novelty that pre-dated rollercoasters, the railway is an exhilarating way to view the stunning landscapes of Australia's east coast from a unique vantage point. View the stunning sandstone cliffs up close, catch glimpses of the densely forested Jamison Valley below and take in the breathtaking views of the expansive rainforest, all on this once in a lifetime rail experience.

Julie Pacalon
Lynne Broadley
Helen Laverack
Kathryn Cambridge
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