Submitted: Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 22:04
ThreadID: 130360 Views:1860 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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Trying to find out if anybody has taken the Ghan to Darwin with their Troopy.
Height restrictions are 2 metres, but the Troopy comes in over that, so my question, has anyone done the trip without being knocked back ?
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 22:55

Monday, Sep 21, 2015 at 22:55
Harry, the height restriction is strict. The railway folk use an L-shaped measuring stick to check the height, and the vehicle MUST pass under the measuring stick.

The height restriction is due to the double-stacking of vehicles, and high vehicles either hit the car-carrier frame above - or the underside of the bridges along the line, if it's put on top.

I know of one bloke with a Forester who was knocked back in Adelaide on the Adelaide-Perth trip, because the Forester came in around 10mm too high (1.94M is the limit to Perth).
Another bloke in Adelaide, going on the Ghan, just touched the measuring stick by a few mm - so they let him go away and deflate the tyres and try again. The second time, he just made it.

So if they say 2.00M is the limit, then it is a strict 2.00M. The only way around it, is if you can find some way of getting the vehicle height down.
Note that roof racks, wind deflectors, louvres, etc, must be removed before loading.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 590572

Follow Up By: Harry - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 21:00

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 21:00
Thanks Guys, all good info.
Everything noted and much appreciated for your input
Special thanks to Ron.
FollowupID: 858637

Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 00:36

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 00:36
I was worried about the snorkle. But it was the antenna. Asked the boss to turn around slowly and the problem was fixed. Antenna element was goooone.

Yes - They are strict. And also on the Indian Pacific and the Queenslander. Yep - done them all and the Queenslander was the best by miles.

Put it this way. Would you like your car to be damaged or trashed by something torn from another car that was "just a bit over" when it hit a bridge etc. Not me.


AnswerID: 590574

Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 10:21

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 10:21
Just as an aside, if you are looking to ship your vehicle on the Ghan in order to save some driving, back-haul rates means it's a good deal cheaper from Darwin than to Darwin - at least the last time I looked. Still costs a bomb though if two of you sit inside taking in the views.
AnswerID: 590588

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 12:32

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 12:32
Be aware as well, that a long-haul trip for your car on either the Ghan or the Indian-Pacific can result in the following problems;

1. An oily film residue on windscreen and other windows, due to oil in the exhaust of the locos. The loco engines do pump enough oil past the rings for it to show up on glass over a long trip, particularly if your vehicle is on top. Wrapping GladWrap around the windscreen is one way of avoiding having to scrub the oily residue off the windscreen at the end of the trip.

2. Numerous amounts of iron filings are flung into the air at speed, and often end up stuck to your vehicle. The iron filings come from brakes, wheels and the rail line itself. You don't notice them initially, but if they're not immediately washed off right after unloading - on the first shower of rain, your vehicle develops thousands of tiny rust spots!

3. Stone-throwing juveniles have been known to throw multiple stones at passing trains.
GSR is classed as a "common carrier" and thus they do not insure your vehicle against damage whilst under their control.
You need to take out transit insurance for your vehicle if you are concerned about any possible damage when on the rail trip.
Your regular comprehensive vehicle insurance quite likely does not cover transport by rail. Check your insurance policy for their T's&C's.
Make yourself fully aware of GSR's "Motorail Conditions of Carriage".

If you insure, have a good photographic record of any damage prior to loading and check for damage immediately upon unloading, and in the presence of rail staff.
Finding that you have incurred thrown stone damage, or other damage, well after unloading, will not be conducive to lodging a successful insurance claim.

Fortunately, the stone-throwing problem does seem to be declining due to increased penalties for stone-throwing, due to the apprehension of numerous miscreants, and due to local warnings being regularly issued in areas where the problem was formerly prevalent.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 590595

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 21:11

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 21:11
Right on Ron

Our car was the first behind the engine on the trip to Darwin (see photo above). It had a good thick layer of oil on the windscreen and to top it off the brainless railways employee turned the wipers on. Arrggghh smeared even more. Luckily we carried the usual washing up liquid and lots of water.

On the trip back to Adelaide it was at the rear of the train - no oil. But we got the stone damage from stone throwing juveniles. I even saw the buggers throwing stones. Told the guard immediately. He didn't even look to see where we were. No help from GSR. Stiff luck.


One of several on the L/H front mudguard.

FollowupID: 858640

Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 21:19

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 21:19
Harry & Phil - I did notice that in the Conditions of Carriage, GSR do offer a measly amount of insurance payout, that does covers damage to your vehicle - as follows;

Liability of GSR to the guest is limited by the terms of this agreement and the ticket to the following sums:
• AUD $250.00 in respect of destruction, loss of, or damage to ‘Your Vehicle’;
• AUD $100.00 in respect of destruction, loss of, or damage to other baggage or goods carried in or attached to ‘Your Vehicle’, or such other sums as are prescribed.]

As these amounts wouldn't even cover repairing modest scratches, you would still be well advised to have independent insurance cover, either as an extension of your existing insurance, if your insurance company is agreeable - or as a separate transit cover policy.
Transit cover is not usually overly expensive, but you do need to find a broker who specialises in it.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 858641

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 22:03

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015 at 22:03
Yep And they basically said bad luck. Not worth fighting them for.

FollowupID: 858643

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