Timetable and fares
To view the timetable and fares for all Pichi Richi Railway train services to help you plan your trip to the Pichi Richi Railway click the link below.
The Afghan Express service turns the clock back to when the famous old Ghan travelled through the Pichi Richi Pass. Wherever possible, the Afghan Express uses distinctive timber-bodied carriages built in the late 1920s for the narrow gauge old Ghan train service, and restored old Ghan steam locomotive NM25, built in 1925.
The Afghan Express is the name railwaymen gave to the passenger train that ran from Terowie to Oodnadatta, through Quorn, in 1923. This was the first time a sleeping carriage was included on the train, and when an Afghan passenger alighted at Quorn to recite his evening prayers, the train was dubbed the Afghan Express by railwaymen. In time, this was abbreviated to The Ghan and eventually adopted by Commonwealth Railways officials.
Pichi Richi Explorer
The Pichi Richi Explorer is a steam service that operates mainly during school holidays and long weekends, using genuine South Australian Railways carriages, some dating from the 19th century.
The service enables travellers to experience train travel as it was 100 years ago on country lines in South Australia. The carriages were used on narrow gauge trains such as the Great Northern Express, the Ghan, the East-West Express and services in the south-east of SA.
Relive the days of when a train journey from Adelaide to Perth went through Quorn. Back then, the journey involved changing trains no less than 4 times, with 3 track gauges. Today, we have taken the inconvenience out when you travel on our section of the remaining line.
The journey starts in Quorn, departing at 10:30am and meanders through the stunning Pichi Richi Pass towards Port Augusta, arriving in time for lunch. There is ample time for a stroll around the nearby area, including a range of food outlets, before the 2:30pm departure back to Quorn.
These railcars were dubbed Barwell's Bulls after State Premier Sir Henry Barwell and due to their distinctive air horn.
Barwell's Bulls were the former South Australian Railways' US-designed Model 75 Brill railcars.
For over 40 years, they serviced virtually all of SA's country lines - on both narrow and broad gauges. They were introduced from 1926 to provide faster, more economical services than steam locomotive hauled trains.
Experience the "grand entrance" to the Pichi Richi Pass in a half day trip, following the Afghan Express route as far as Woolshed Flat before returning to Port Augusta. Travelling the bluebush plain out of Port Augusta, passengers will watch as the majestic Finders Ranges draw ever closer before entering the Pichi Richi Pass.
Christmas in July
Get on board for some wintry yuletide cheer! Celebrate in July, away from the hectic activity of December, and truly relax and enjoy the experience.
As you arrive at Port Augusta Railway Station you’ll be greeted by a familiar looking fellow in a red suit. Embark on carriages resplendent with festive decorations and enjoy nibbles, a licensed bar and Christmas music on your steam train journey to Pichi Richi Park.
Why not hire your own private carriage on a scheduled service for a more exclusive experience? Various carriages are available for use - including the South Australian Railways Commissioner's carriage, or even Special Car No. 3 - used on HRH Duke of Gloucester's train during his 1934 Australian visit.
Or, hire your own steam train or an historic railcar to a local restaurant or for a picnic in the Pichi Richi Pass! All Pichi Richi Railway services are available for private hire and can be scheduled to suit your requirements - ideal for club or business functions, coach and tour groups, social events and special occasions.
Train hires are also ideal for school groups.