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Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Ghan and Indian Pacific trains to feature in Special Stamp Issue


Train travel goes postal
  
Famous trains The Ghan and the Indian Pacific will be expanding their routes from travelling across Australia to across the world, from May 2010, featuring on Australia Post's new stamp issue, 'Great Australian Railway Journeys'.

The 55 cent stamps will broaden the journey of these mighty trains to letterboxes across the globe from May 2010 until sold out, and are available from participating Australia Post outlets.

Commercial Director of Great Southern Rail, Russell Westmoreland, said that the postage stamps are a special way to celebrate and recognise Australia's Great Train Journeys.

"The Ghan and the Indian Pacific are both an integral part of Australia's history. Last year, The Ghan celebrated 80 years and this year the Indian Pacific marks its 40th Anniversary."

"Both journeys represent incredible engineering feats, a vital means of transport in times gone by and an integral part of Australia's tourism industry today."

"Featuring these mighty trains on postage stamps not only showcases the journeys to Australians and to people around the world, but also creates a special collectors item and souvenir for train lovers," said Russell.

The Ghan is a living legend in Australian history. Originally the Afghan Express, the name 'The Ghan' was inspired by the pioneering Afghan cameleers who blazed a permanent trail into the Red Centre of Australia over 150 years ago.

From the lush, tropical north, through the deep red centre to the spectacular South Australian outback, The Ghan is one of the most fascinating train journeys in the world.

The Indian Pacific also enjoys a rich history. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, the Indian Pacific is renowned for providing the final link since federation of what were the eastern and western colonies.

From the magnificent Blue Mountains through fertile farming land and across the longest stretch of straight rail track in the world, The Indian Pacific is an epic journey that spans a continent.

"Australia's Great Train Journeys provide the holiday of a lifetime. Great Southern Rail currently has a number of special travel offers available for holidays aboard both The Ghan and the Indian Pacific so there is no better time to book," said Russell.

For more information on The Ghan or the Indian Pacific, or to make a reservation, please visit the Great Southern Rail website, www.gsr.com.au or contact your local travel agent.

Notes:
This stamp issue includes a limited edition (10,000) prestige first day cover featuring the Indian Pacific stamp and a reproduction version of the 1917 invitation to the official opening of the Trans-Australian Railway.
A prestige booklet comprising mixed blocks of four stamps, minisheet and postcards will also be available. A first day cover, a minisheet, a stamp pack, a maxicard set of four, a self-adhesive sheetlet of 5 x $2.10, a self-adhesive booklet of 20 x 55c and a roll of self-adhesive stamps (200 x 55c) are also available (http://auspost.com.au/).


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