Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Private rail cars / carriages in Australia

Private Carriages can be attached to the Ghan, the Overland and Indian Pacific Trains
The Chairman’s Carriage


Accommodates up to 8 guests
2 double bedrooms sharing 2-way bathroom
2 twin cabins with adjacent bathroom facilities
Lounge with CD player, DVD and video entertainment
Dining room for private dining as required, with a dedicated chef (extra cost)
Fully equipped kitchen
Guests dine in the Ghan’s Gold Restaurant at no extra cost
Private charters arranged from Adelaide, Alice Springs or Darwin

The Prince of Wales’s Carriage

The Prince of Wales Carriage was built in 1919 for a royal visit by Edward, Prince of Wales. The carriage was recently refurbished but has many original features, including high ceilings of Wunderlich-pressed metal and cathedral glass doors.

Accommodates up to 10 guests
4 twin cabins
2 large single cabins which, combined, form the Mountbatten Suite
Lounge featuring ornate wood carvings
Full-size main bathroom
Guests dine in the Ghan’s Gold Restaurant at no extra cost
Private charters can be arranged between Adelaide and Darwin

The Governor’s Lounge
The Governor's Lounge is the sister carriage to the Prince of Wales Carriage. This timber carriage was constructed in 1917 for the official opening of the Trans Australian Railway.

Spacious lounge areas with comfortable arm chairs and a piano
Large picture windows
2 televisions
2 mini-bar fridges and tea & coffee making facilities
Private charters can be arranged from Adelaide or Darwin

The Sir John Forrest Carriage

The Sir John Forrest Carriage is named after the explorer made famous for the first crossing of Western Australia by land in 1870. Follow in his footsteps across the Nullarbor Plain, travelling in the comfort of this modern carriage.

Accommodates up to 6 guests
1 double bedroom with ensuite bathroom
2 twin cabins with ensuite facilities
Additional bathroom
Kitchenette/ bar and lounge area
Leather lounges and large picture windows
Big screen television, video/ DVD, powerpoint screening facilities
Meeting area with boardroom table (seats twelve)
Guests dine in the Ghan’s Gold Restaurant at no extra cost
Private charters can be arranged between Adelaide and Darwin

Monday, December 14, 2009

Common types of private rail cars in the USA

Although private rail cars are available in Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and in the UK - at least - the USA has the largest number available for private hire.

These are the main types of US private rail car hire. 

Business Car

Business cars were originally designed to be used by railroad employees.  They generally have between two and four bedrooms with one or more bathrooms, as well as separate crew cabins, a dining area for between six and ten passengers, a lounge and an open rear platform.  The illustrated rail car is the Tioga Pass.


The coach is a regular seated passenger rail car or carriage as seen on any scheduled railway, with toilets / washrooms at one end or both ends.  In the US, when used as a private rail car, the seats often have foot-rests and can be reclined. Some seats face each other, with a table between them.


Lounge cars have armchair or other scattered seating, tables and, frequently, a bar.  The illustration shows the Northern View, which additionally has a dining area and a dome lounge.


In most cases, sleeper cars consist of cabins or sleeper rooms; sometimes they have open sections.  Occasionally, one or more cabins have been converted to provide catering facilities, a lounge or showers.  The plan is of the Evelyn Henry.

Sleeper / Lounge

Sleeper / lounge cars normally have five or six double bedrooms or cabins, a small buffet area, occasionally with a kitchenette, and a lounge. 
The illustration is of the J. Pinckney Henderson.

Before I start....

A great video that introduces private rail cars very neatly.....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

All about private railcars and carriages

This is a good photo to open the blog! The Mount Stephen is the last car in the Royal Canadian Pacific luxury train, and is typical of a type of rail car known as a business car.

This blog aims to introduce rail cars / carriages that are available for hire to individuals and small groups.

In the coming days and weeks, I hope to cover the following topics:

What is a private rail car or carriage?

Where can a private rail car or carriage be hired?

Who are the typical hirers of a private rail car / carriage?

Why should the hire of a private rail car or carriage be considered?

When is the best time to hire a private rail car / carriage?

I look forward to reading any comments or contributions!