NSW Rail XPT Melbourne - Sydney versus Great Southern Rail The Overland Melbourne - Adelaide.

3 replies


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Which service in First Class on each respective train would surpass the other for the complete passenger experience.
I enjoy train travel, and would like to hear from folk who have done either. Taking in account cabin layout, spaciousness, food, quality of seat etc.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jul 2014

Total posts 36

I don't know about the Overland but the XPT First Class is not a lot to rave about. You get about 6 inches more in leg room and 12 degrees more of recline. No food, drink. If you get the sleeper though you do get Breakfast included.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 07 Dec 2014

Total posts 55

Neither train has what an air traveler would consider 'first class' (despite what NSW Trainlink might call the XPT service). 

Great Southern does run trains that have 'gold class' and 'platinum class' service, however the Overland isn't one of those trains. It offers 'Red' and 'Red Premium' which is pretty much akin to economy and premium economy ... see here: http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/onboard/service-levels/red-service

The XPT has three classes ... economy, 'first' and daysitter/sleeper (depending on day or night service). Again, first is more akin to premium economy. Daysitter will get you a small cabin with more room, but seats don't recline. http://www.nswtrainlink.info/your_journey/on_board/seating

My guess is that the XPT is going to be a more utilitarian service (as a Government run service), even in first. While the XPT travels Melbourne to Sydney, I suspect its main utility is for people travelling to the major cities from country towns along the route, rather than doing the full length of travel; and for pensioners that get free tickets each year.

I suspect neither service is going to offer a supremely enjoyable experience. Of the two I would guess the Overland would have the edge. If you want a true premium experience however, perhaps consider Great Southern's The Ghan (Adelaide-Alice Springs-Darwin) or Indian Pacific (Sydney-Adelaide-Perth) as they have Gold and Platinum on-board service levels.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

Neither of them are anything to shout about: The Overland (twice weekly, day service only) is a pale shadow of its former self, and the Sydney/Melbourne XPT (twice daily, sleepers available overnight) has nothing on the Spirit of Progress, never mind the Southern Aurora.

If you enjoy train travel, look to The Ghan, the Indian Pacific, or the Spirit of Queensland for decent experiences domestically; or look overseas for something actually worth doing.

I do think this situation is a shame, as the Melbourne to Sydney and Melbourne to Adelaide runs are the perfect length for an overnight train journey, which I believe to have untapped appeal (both for business and leisure) as it avoids having to get up at o'dark hundred for the first flight out or shelling out for an extra night of accommodation so you can avoid the dead-early start.

Last editedby watson374 at Jan 09, 2017, 05:19 PM.

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