If you’re crook, come to Cook

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The Indian Pacific stops

Cook is almost halfway along the train route through the Nullarbor. The train stops for an hour to refill fuel and water and to change drivers. This gives passengers the chance to set out for sightseeing.

In the old times of steam engines, Cook's population was around 100. When we visited on April 1, 2005, the town was inhabited by two people but they expected the population to increase by 100% in the near future because another couple was about to move there.

98% of Cook is a ghost town. The houses have long been vacated. Deserted gardens, rusting cars, abandoned playgrounds.

Four times a week swarms of tourists invade the town for one hour and disturb the ghosts' peace: when the Indian Pacific stops. There are two passenger trains per week in each direction.

Inviting signpost
Most of the traffic on these rails consists of freight trains.

It was 42 degrees but very dry so the heat was bearable. We strolled around and enjoyed watching the empty houses in various stages of decay.

Everything is within easy walking distance from the train station. That one hour the Indian Pacific’s timetable allows is more than enough to stretch your legs and see everything the place has to offer. It is hard to imagine a thriving community of human beings here in his godforsaken place in the middle of the great flat nothing, but some years ago it must have been.

The town had two prison cells for a population of 100, one per 50 people - does this indicate the rate of criminality in former times? Being locked up in these tin huts must be like being imprisoned in a cooking pot.

vicIII says:
Kathrin, I see it was great to explore that remote place...
Posted on: Aug 30, 2017
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The Indian Pacific stops
The Indian Pacific stops
Inviting signpost
Inviting signpost
Cook, general view
Cook, general view
Deserted home
Deserted home
Local sense of humour: Cooks mott…
Local sense of humour: Cook's mot…
Cook prison. In front of the cells…
Cook prison. In front of the cell…
Cook
photo by: Kathrin_E
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