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Great Southern Rail to launch Adelaide-Brisbane service

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EXCLUSIVE | A new luxury train service between Adelaide and Brisbane is set to launch, InDaily can reveal. Meanwhile, it remains unclear if taxpayer funding for the Overland service to Melbourne will continue.

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Great Southern Rail, the company that operates the Ghan and the Indian Pacific, will soon add a new railway journey to its offering to take tourist passengers from Adelaide to Brisbane and back.

InDaily understands the company intends to publicly launch the service – the “Great Southern” – on December 3.

It will involve a three-day northbound journey featuring guided tour stops at the Grampians in Victoria, Canberra and at beaches in New South Wales.

The return journey will include beachside dining in northern New South Wales, a tour of the Hunter Valley and a stop at the Twelve Apostles in Victoria.

InDaily also understand that Great Southern will begin operating in December next year, with eight departures between the beginning of that month and the end of January 2020.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that: “Great Southern Rail is indeed developing a new multi-day rail holiday”, adding that it will “be launched to the public shortly”.

Little movement on the Overland

Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether the SA Government will continue subsidising Great Southern’s Overland passenger service between Adelaide and Melbourne.

Both the Victorian and South Australian governments have given taxpayer funding to maintain the service for decades.

Earlier this year, the SA Labor Party raised concerns that a lack of guaranteed funding from the Marshall Government beyond 2018-19 threatened the future of the twice-weekly passenger rail service.

At the time, Acting Premier Vickie Chapman declined to say whether or not the Government would continue to subsidise the service – adding that passenger numbers had been falling as a result of cheap airplane travel.

The company says it is still yet to received any assurance of funding from SA.

“The ongoing operation of The Overland remains dependent on support from both SA and Victorian Governments,” the spokesperson said.

InDaily has approached the South Australian Government for comment, but has not yet received a response.

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