Everyone has a mental image of the Golden Age of Rail Travel. It's screening in full colour in the movie theatre of our minds – an impressively upholstered, elegantly decorated carriage, travelling through extraordinary landscapes to the accompaniment of fine food and drink. Perhaps while a fascinating mystery is solved by a famous detective in the next carriage along.
There's no guarantee of a mystery, but Great Southern Rail have made the rest of this fantasy ride available via the Chairmans Carriage, which is available for private charter as part of either the Indian Pacific train between Sydney and Perth; or The Ghan between Adelaide and Darwin.
Either of these epic rail journeys is a memorable ride in GSR's premium Platinum Service. This class of travel provides spacious cabins which functions as private lounge during the day, and a comfortable bedroom by night.
Chairmans Carriage guests also have access to the Platinum Club, a stylish restaurant and bar wherein excellent food and drink is served within stylish contemporary décor. The ingredients for meals are often sourced from the regions through which the train travels, and wines and other beverages are included in the fare.
The luxuriously-outfitted private Chairmans Carriage contains four separate cabins: three with double beds, and one with twin beds. This allows a group of up to eight people to travel together within their own domain on rails.
In addition to the cabins, Chairmans Carriage guests enjoy the exclusive use of a lounge and dining room which has been renovated in contemporary style. The earth tones of the décor are soothing to the eye, and complements the natural highlights to be seen through the windows as you sit and relax on this comfortable long haul.
As comfortable as it is on board, however, there's plenty of opportunity to leave the train and explore the ever-changing territory it travels through. The fare includes all Off Train Excursions and unique outback experiences, with many options to choose between.
On the journey west from Sydney to Perth aboard the Indian Pacific, for example, guests can alight in the South Australian countryside to partake of a winery tour in the famous Barossa Valley wine region, including private tastings and a memorable dinner at Yalumba Winery's Signature Cellar.
On The Ghan between Darwin and Adelaide, there's the chance to learn more about traditional Indigenous rock art dating back 40,000 years, by joining the Nitmiluk First Gorge Art Cruise. These excursions are complemented by other options, from urban tours to outback experiences.
Back on board, you can choose to recount your experiences over an intimate glass of wine with your Chairmans Club travelling companions, or join other Platinum guests for a spot of socialising over food and drink in the Platinum Club.
This choice of privacy or conviviality is a highlight of the Chairmans Carriage; you can choose when to indulge in either, and even breakfast in bed if you prefer.
With transfers to and from the train included, booking the Chairmans Carriage is an attractive way to travel – in style.
This article brought to you by Great Southern Rail. See greatsouthernrail.com.au