From the moment we boarded the train, we started to relax. Rail travel will do that to you. Since we were not in charge of the route, there was no stressing about hitting traffic or being on time with a set itinerary. We got comfy in our twin sleeping berth and explored what we had at our fingertips on this nearly 60-year old train.
As per our ticket, we settled into cabin 9/10, which is a twin sleeper with a large bench seat to while away the hours, catching the scenery whiz by. Though the cabin was large enough for us, we could see how it might be a bit cramped for the allotted 2 people. Each cabin has dual wardrobes, plenty of luggage stowage and a nifty fold-away sink to brush your teeth or shave. There's no in-room bathroom, though every car has separate male and female facilities and a shower for freshening up.
Each cabin does however come with a full amenity kit with the normal shampoo, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, eye shade and wash cloth. Pretty standard among Business Classes on airlines, but unexpected on a train. The best part was the complimentary robe and slippers which passengers are encouraged to take home as a souvenir.
This themed trip was all about dining, of course, and experiencing the local produce Queensland has to offer, so passengers were welcome with a bag of goodies, including a bottle of white wine from Queensland winery, Sirromet, some gourmet brownies and a bottle of organic olive oil.
The actual Sunlander rail cars we experienced will be retired within the next 12 months when a brand spanking new train is introduced into the fleet. This newer train will have a very modern interior with more luxury features, including the possibility of on-aboard wifi. While we love shiny new modes of transportation, an old rail car maintains the allure and mystery of train travel.
Disclosure: We traveled as a guest of Queensland Rail, but all photos and opinions presented are completely our own.
[Photo: Rayme Gorniak for Jaunted]