The Ghan

The Grand Old Lady of the North

By John Wilson

Currently In Preparation

Book presently in preparation and expected to be released in the second half of 2021.


There have been many books on The Ghan, and it is reasonable to ask why we need another.
Consider the following:
There hasn’t been a serious history of The Ghan since it has been operating to Darwin in 2004.
There has been controversy over the origins of the name. It is time to settle that, and I will present evidence that puts the matter “beyond reasonable doubt”.
There will be a “timetable chronology”. Unlike most other famous trains in Australia, where the departure time has remained “set in stone” for decades, it is hard to identify two or three consecutive years where they have left the timetable unchanged.
A very comprehensive general chronology.
Dining a la Ghan. There were unique challenges in feeding the passengers.
The problem of water supply for locomotives in the desert.
And the occasional problem of too much water, which could bring the service to a halt for as much as 12 weeks.
Plenty of railway folklore and a chapter of poetry and camel sculptures.
An appendix that includes a report of the 1889 Parliamentary visit to the railhead (nearly to Oodnadatta) and several other contemporaneous reports.
As with previous publications of Sarlines Railway Books, this book will feature photographs of the highest quality, and supported by many maps and charts in colour.