Train journey in hell
Brisbane Travel Blog› entry 84 of 254 › view all entries
Arrived back in Sydney after a three day train journey. During the first two days, Pam and Dave had been in the posh end of the train (complete with cabin) for the first two days, while we had opted for the more traditional super scruffy economy, no bed, no room, class. At one point early on in the journey we tried to get through to see them in their cabin but after walking about a mile towards the carriage 'A', we found their door was locked - obviously they cannot risk the hillbillies straying. So we turned round just in time to be told by an aggressive looking train attendant that we weren't allowed through - she then pretty much escorted us back to our seats in carriage Z or wherever we were. At about 5.30pm Pam appeared (escorted by their Maitre'D) - we had been granted permission to join them for their evening meal, which was an experience - it was like being on the Orient Express. The contrast in service was amazing. Firstly we went to their cabin and then into their lounge where Paul - their entertainer - was playing his little keyboard and singing in his gentle background voice - a bit like seeing supermarket music live, but much better than the chorus of coughing and crying babies we had come from. We each had a drink (brought to our table) and then at 7pm we were taken through to our dining car where we began our three course meal. After dinner we went back to the lounge where we had a brandy while listening to Paul continuing to play his array of easy listening. At about 10pm it was back to our seats in rough class, quite prepared for a restless night but expecting to be cosy under complementary blanket and pillow - we didn't even get that, we had to get our down jackets and use them alternately as a pillow one hour and a quilt the next.. As an example of the contrast between those in carriage A and us, we got nothing, whereas those in first class were given the highly useful items of dressing gown and slippers. Needless to say we had a restless night.
The second day wasn't much better, and to add to it Diane banged her head and got mild concussion, seeing stars, sickness and headache, but we managed to live to see Brisbane again. We stayed for just one night this time before getting back on the train the next day back to Sydney.