The Ghan Train.

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 19:50
ThreadID: 55089 Views:2050 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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Have read in a book about the dingo fence in S A the train was named after A J Ghan who was the Commissioner of South Australia Railways at the time ,and had nothing to do with the carmel drivers as throught.
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 20:30

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 20:30

Have a look at this.

Ghan train

This is the popular reason for the name of the train. It also makes a lot of sense.

AnswerID: 290281

Reply By: Member - Adam S (SA) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 20:36

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 20:36
I have never heard of this before,(not to say that it is not correct) and I have read quite a bit about the old Ghan.
It would take more than one publication to convince me as every other thing I have read states it was after the Afghans.

They even teach in schools so it must be right.


AnswerID: 290284

Reply By: DIO - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 21:28

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 21:28
No obvious record of the name Ghan ever being a Commissioner of Railways in South Australia.
The following obtained from SAR Records may assist you in understanding the evolution of the name Ghan Train...

"Chief Commissioner W. A. Webb was now in control, and in 1923 we see the administrative overhaul of the South Australian Railways, but the public would have to wait until 1924 before the visible changes would begin.

One of the great legends of of Australian railway history occurred in this year. A sleeping car service commenced between Marree and Quorn, and when the first sleeping car train from Marree arrived in Quorn, a group of curious railway workers was eager to see who had travelled on the new service. From the sleeping car there emerged a sole occupant resplendent in his arabic garb. One of the onlookers commented to the effect that they'd have to call the new train the Afghan express. From Weekly Notice Number 35, we can be confident that this historic event took place on the morning of 5th September."

Source can be viewed on the following Link

AnswerID: 290296

Follow Up By: 2517 - Sunday, Mar 02, 2008 at 10:04

Sunday, Mar 02, 2008 at 10:04
Thank you for that,the book must be wrong.
FollowupID: 555685

Follow Up By: DIO - Sunday, Mar 02, 2008 at 10:21

Sunday, Mar 02, 2008 at 10:21
Have consulted with a friend who has a wealth of knowledge relating to railways. His response to the question of Ghan being a Commissioner of SAR was as follows:

'Ghan was Commisioner of Commonwealth Railways. However the dubbing of the "Afghan Express" is well documented as having occurred prior to Commonwealth Railways taking over the Oodnadatta line. General opinion is that it had nothing to do with Commissioner Ghan, although one wonders if he was happy to let the tradition stick.'

Perhaps the author of the book you are referring to may have been confused regarding the difference between Commonwealth and SAR. Who know - who cares.
FollowupID: 555688

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 21:36

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 21:36
I always though it was nammed after Mahatma Ghandhi,
Because it was so bloody slow!

AnswerID: 290300

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 21:54

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 21:54
Its not April yet - you're a month early.

AnswerID: 290306

Reply By: Member - Davidp P (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 22:47

Saturday, Mar 01, 2008 at 22:47
I was one of a school group that went to the Alice on the old Gahn in the late 50s round the Fink you could jog quicker. We flew back to Essendon and were met by a crowd of press reporters/camera men, it was a very sad time. We had lost one of our lads over the edge of the Rock. In those days there was no chain, just a dotted line til the top then the odd cairn of rocks to the highest point. Amazingly, low cloud drifted over at that moment and were forced to form a tight conga line to almost feel our way back, trying to find the cairns. Unfortunately PAUL STREIFF stumbled on a very narrow ridge and fell 100+ ft into one of the many wash holes. We never forget these things..........10 mm of rain and the buses got bogged trying to get back to the Alice, the road wasnt sealed in those days....silverback
AnswerID: 290312

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