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Arriving on the 'Old Ghan'

The Ghan at the railway station at Stuart, Alice Springs, c.1929Before the war and the building of the Stuart Highway, most people came to Alice by the Old Ghan railway which was connected to the town in 1929.

Margot Miles arrived in Alice in 1932 and the journey north was memorable:

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Well it was very hard, but it was most enjoyable. There was no sleeping arrangements. It was carriages, and those old fashioned carriages had seats running straight up the carriage. And they stopped at different stops, and you could always get hot water at the engine. The engine driver would give you the hot water when he stayed – if you had a billy can that is – you could got up there and get a billy of water and put some tea in it. But they had different stops, like Port Augusta, different stops like that – and Oodnadatta, they stayed there. And you could walk over the hotel and get a meal.

But there was no food at all on the train – you kind of had to carry it with you. And it was a very good type of people, because they were all bush people.

[Northern Territory Archives Service NTRS 226, TS 835 and NTRS 1723, RTP 5218, Margot Miles]

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