Friday, August 21, 2009

West Coast Wilderness Railway

Abt locomotive on West Coast Wilderness RailwayOne step closer to a long term ambition, I have just booked a ride on the West Coast Wilderness Railway.This is a narrow gauge line using the Swiss Abt system to get it up steep hills. On my previous Trip to Tasmania for talks, I was jokingly asked if I would like to run the railway. This time I hope to do a "live" web report from the train.

After my difficulties with booking airline flights via airline web sites for Jetstar and Virgin Blue , there turned out to be an easy process for the admittedly less hectic steam railway. Pure Tasmania provides a service to let you book the railway, cruses and other tourist attractions. One thing to look out for is that the train only goes one way per day: hat is it travels the lenght of the line one day and returns the next day. The standard fare includes a return journey by coach.

At the same time I booked on the Gordon River Cruise, selecting the cheapest "atrium" seating. I assume this is an inside seat, not on the upper deck or near the windows. Often this can be a better place to sit. After sitting in the open or against a window you can start to feel a little too exposed on a long cruse. The cheap seats can also be more fun. On a trip up the Bosporus from Istanbul the locals got out their own food, musical instruments and started a party with belly dancing. I expect that Tasmania will be a little more restrained, but who knows? ;-)

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