Australia Trains

The Overland Train: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Riding

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The Overland train has been a fixture in Australia almost since its inception. Connecting the fabulous cities of Adelaide and Melbourne, this train acts not only as a mode of transportation but a fun way to see the rolling hills, the green and yellow wheat-filled plains and the riparian environments that present themselves across the countryside of South Australia.

Melbourne, Australia

Is The Overland Train still operating?

Yes, The Overland Train is still operating and has been in service since 1887. For over 135 years, The Overland train has been taking passengers from the beautiful coastal city of Melbourne to the clean azure waters of Adelaide.

What is the history of the Overland Train?

The history of The Overland Train goes back to the turn of the 19th century. It was originally named, “The Intercolonial Express”. Later, the name was changed to “The Adelaide Express” or “The Melbourne Express”, depending on which city you originated. Ornate, Mann Boudoir sleeping cars were a part of the experience in those days on an overnight trek to each of the sought after cities. Today, sleeper carriages are not part of the trip, yet comfortable seating is just as relaxing and enjoyable.

How fast does the Overland Train go?

The Overland Train is one of the more leisurely trains with an average speed of around 70 M.P.H. This allows the traveler to enjoy the sights along the way, having a better chance for photography and video opportunities.

Is there First Class seating on The Overland train?

There is First Class seating on the Overland train. First Class on the Overland train is called Red Premium and features fantastic amenities for its passengers.

Red Premium seating offers travelers who choose this class an all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The Red Premium carriage only allows 36 seats which affords its passengers great space for legroom between seats and an ample area for belongings that aren’t stored. There is also access to the dining car, Café 828, for those in-between snacks. You can also choose to sit at your seat and have your meals brought to you, so you don’t miss that great view. Bring anything you want with a weight limit of 88 pounds per checked bag and 22 pounds for carry-ons. Paying extra for the Red Premium Class is well worth it and will add the extra luxuries that make train trips so special.

Does The Overland train have sleepers carriages?

No, The Overland train does not have sleeper carriages. In the earlier years, The Overland offered sleeper cabins and was even the first train in the world to feature showers in their sleeper cabins. Due to the increasing popularity of air travel, sleeper cabins slowly decreased in demand and went out of service, completely, on The Overland train in 2008. Today, you will find sleeper carriages on multi-day trips and transcontinental treks on other lines available throughout the country.

How long does the Overland Train take?

The Overland train takes about 10.5 hours from its departure in Adelaide to is destination of Melbourne, which gives you just enough time to really have a fantastic rail traveling experience.

How much does it cost for a ticket on The Overland train?

A ticket on The Overland Train for a Red Service Class fare costs $175 and a ticket for the Red Premium Service is $285.

What cities does the Overland Train travel through?

The Overland train begins in Adelaide and makes stops in Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham, Stawell, Ararat, North Shore, terminating in Melbourne. You can not get off and then back on the train, but you can get off and take excursions and see the sights at any of these cities at your leisure.

What are some of the best things to do along The Overland train route?

There are fabulous places to visit and fantastic things to do along the route from Adelaide to Melbourne. Here is a compilation of some of our favorite places that you should consider putting on your itinerary.


Whether you have a wine connoisseur in your group or you just enjoy wine tasting, Adelaide is a great stop for checking out all of the beautiful wineries in South Australia. Take a scenic ride into the Adelaide Hills and the various topographies that give this region such a robust selection of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. For fans of the Red varietals there are Shiraz and Pinot to choose from.

Take the foodies in your group to the Adelaide Central Market and sample all the fine cheeses, gourmet pastries and fine produce you can stand. This is a great place to assemble your own charcuterie board to impress your friends as you shop to the live music that plays on weekends.

If you need a chance to get up close to Australia’s natives that live in the canopies of the continent, then visit Cleland Conservation Park and ogle at a koala, watch the kangaroos box or see how fast the emu can really run. This park is not only interesting but has a gorgeous waterfall and Australian flora and fauna native to the area.

Murray Bridge

Murray Bridge is a great stop for families and couples, alike. With the Murray River meandering through this picturesque city, ample activities are provided for recreation as well as relaxation. Take a breather along the river at one of the many parks in Murray Bridge.

Sturt Reserve is a quiet walk to the riverfront where you can enjoy picnicking by the river, or even taking a boat or kayak out to see your natural surroundings up close.

If the kids want to see some local celebrities in the form of kangeroos, indigenous lizards and cuddly koalas, take them to Monarto Safari Park and spend an afternoon getting acquainted with the more than 50 native and exotic animals that are featured in this exciting place to visit in Murray Bridge.

Adults will like a tour of the Murrayland area by boat with a dinner cruise on the Captain Proud Paddle Boat Cruise. Learn about local heritage and flora and fauna on an open air deck, then retire to your table and experience delicious cuisine and drink.


From its coffee, to its street art,

to its endless laneways of shopping, Melbourne is a world class city that has drawn millions of people to this picturesque, sought out town. Start out with some shopping at the popular Chapel Street area for that special gift that just screams, “Australia”!

Then you can pick from one of over 2,000 cafés that serve what has been said as the best coffee in the world. Line up at Patricia Coffee Brewers and order your personal favorite and then vote for what most have said is the best coffee on the planet.

The underground art scene is strong in Melbourne, which is evident by all the street art covering the laneways and walls of the city. Take a guided tour of the area and get a deeper understanding of the meaning and beauty that covers the city, adding to this already colorful and vibrant town.

Is The Overland train worth it?

The Overland Train is worth it, whether you are using it merely as a mode of transportation or you are looking for the journey to be a part of your destination. The Overland train is an excellent way to get acquainted with South Australia and all the wonderful things it has to offer.

Wendy Edwards
Wendy is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. But for the past seven years she has traveled by RV to many National Parks, monuments and everywhere in between. She and her family of five, a furry canine friend and a bearded dragon have crossed the United States thirty one times. She never tires of hiking, biking, camping and photographing this beautiful country.