Long-distance rail travel in Australia is something you do because you really want to − not because it's cheap, convenient or fast. That said, trains are more comfortable than buses, and there's a certain long-distance 'romance of the rails' that's alive and kicking.
Shorter-distance rail services within most states are run by state rail bodies, either government or private.
The most notable long-distance rail journeys in Australia are run by the following:
- Great Southern Rail Operates the Indian Pacific between Sydney and Perth, the Overland between Melbourne and Adelaide, Great Southern between Brisbane and Adelaide, and The Ghan between Adelaide and Darwin via Alice Springs.
- Queensland Rail Runs the high-speed Spirit of Queensland service between Brisbane and Cairns.
- NSW TrainLink Trains from Sydney to Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.
- V/Line Trains within Victoria, linking up with buses for connections into NSW, SA and the ACT.