LN - re that train

Aug 27th, 2004, 03:09 PM
  #1  
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LN - re that train

Something weird happened to the formatting of LN's post about taking the train from Sydney to Canberra, and it wouldn't allow me to generate a reply. Anyway, what can I add to Judy's wealth of info? Answer, not much. I've never taken the train but believe it's an OK trip - not blindingly fast (290 km in 4 hrs) but acceptable. Better check that the schedules suit you, though. The fact is that Canberrans generally drive to and from Sydney, or catch a plane if on business, so the railway station is to say the least modest, more befitting a country town with one-tenth the population. The station is at Kingston - maybe a 1 km walk to your apartment (if that's where you're staying) so you may wish to take a cab.

I agree with Judy that trains are usually less hassle than flying, but there's no getting away from the fact that in this case flying is still faster. The SYD-CBR flight if by jet is 35 mins blocks-to-blcoks, 50 by smaller turboprop (Dash-8 or similar).

You may be able to score a special fare, but I suspect not for much longer. Virgin Blue has just announced that it's pulling out of Canberra due to the inexcusable (IMO) failure of the Federal Government to mandate reasonable patronage by the Public Service.

If any Australian taxpayers reading this are concerned about government profliogacy, consider air travel arrangements. Rather than use its combined purchasing power to squeeze good deals out of the airlines, the government has thrown it to individual agencies to do their own thing, and it appears that the airlines are doing very nicely out of it. Recently I heard of a a Canberra-Perth return trip initially being quoted at $1300. The officer concerned could probably have tacked some annual leave onto her business trip and flown to Singapore and back (via Perth) for the former figure.
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Aug 27th, 2004, 03:43 PM
  #2  
LN
 
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You're right Neil - can't get into that thread. I am a bit surprised on your suggestion of flying - although I am looking at it quite seriously. Early on most people felt that the train was the way to go but who knows, we're all bendable.

You had also mentioned Kingston being a good area as well as the ANU University hotel/motel so I was, in general, staying with recommendations. And yes, we'll undoubtedly hire a cab or rent a car while we're there unless you feel a car would be foolish.

The train trip would be similar to my taking the train from Washington DC to New York City and I've usually enjoyed it cause it takes you right downtown whereas the plane takes you to the outskirts.

I have everything ready and booked for Sydney and now I'm working around the area (so to speak) Again thanks for all the great suggestions.

LN
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Aug 27th, 2004, 10:13 PM
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Canberra airport is about 10 minutes' drive from the city centre, not much further than the railway station. I know what you mean about the train - we took Amtrak in and out of NYC and the extra time was well worth trading off against the hassle of flying. But Canberra airport is about 10 minutes' drive from the city centre, not much further than the railway station. I'd estimate travel times between city centres as by plane, 2hrs (jet) 2hr15min (prop); by train 4hr30min, both on the (possibly brave) assumption of no delays.

Rooms unseen, I like the idea of University House, ANU, for peaceful atmosphere. And a sometimes-overlooked attraction in Canberra, the National Botanical Gardens, is at the foot of Black Mountain, very close to the ANU campus. I'm out of date on this one, but the nearby ANU Staff Centre used to be a reasonable place to share a long lunch with the academic staff.

I don't think a car would be foolish at all - just invest a few dollars in a fold-out street map. Canberra's roads are good and the traffic is light by big-city standards, but unwary visitors can get confused - especially by the fact that rather than lining the roads, shops, service stations etc. tend to be tucked away in well-hidden shopping centres. Canberra is NOT laid out on a grid system.

If you have a couple of hours to spare, take a drive south to the historic Lanyon Homestead and Sidney Nolan Gallery, then keep going through the village of Tharwa to the Namadgi National Park Visitors Centre in the foothills of the Brindabella Ranges to see some classic Australian countryside.
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Aug 27th, 2004, 10:14 PM
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In case that first para looks like I'm losing my marbles, I copied-and-pasted when I should have cut-and-pasted.
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Aug 28th, 2004, 03:36 AM
  #5  
 
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Countrylink advise there is trackwork between Goulburn and Canberra, from now until 14 Sept ... passengers must change to a bus service for the last 2 hours of the journey, expect delays of 30 minutes +.

If yr travelling during this time it may be less hassle to fly.
If yr not, you could take advantage of countrylinks 14 day advance purchase fare, AUD25 SYD - CANBERRA.
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