The Indian Pacific, Chapter 2 (MIA Office Head Fujimoto Koichiro)
Dinner, held in the restaurant car, was
conducted in separate groups, each
called at slightly offset times. All of the meals were
authentic-style, and of course, plenty of beer and wine
was provided. I myself only stayed for a single night,
but for those passengers who were staying on until
Perth, these meals must have been the greatest of
pleasures. After finishing my meal, I returned to my
room, and had a shower whilst occasionally being
rocked about by the movement of the train. I had to
support myself with both hands against the walls to
keep my footing as I showered. Following the shower,
there was truly nothing left to do. I slipped into bed,
without even a TV to watch.
As dawn broke, the train continued to run across a desolate countryside. At around 7AM, with what looked to be a quarry nearby, our train stopped at a station called Broken Hill. Located roughly 1160 kilometres from Sydney, I was informed that the town once flourished due as a mining town. From near the station, there were no residential houses to be seen. There was a bus waiting at the train station when we arrived. Hopping off our train and onto the bus, we travelled on the road through the desert for around 30 minutes, heading to a small hill before alighting. Scaling the hill, we found tens of pieces on display that had once been carved into the surrounding rock. As there was nothing else around, all there was to do was gaze into the distant horizon. After about an hour, we once more returned to the station, and boarded the Indian Pacific.
After departing Broken Hill Station and heading to the restaurant car to have breakfast, I continued my journey in the lounge car, again enjoying some beer as we went. The landscape stretched into endless farmland. As morning turned to afternoon, the train began to run alongside the road. There was a sign on the road that said “No gas past this point. No signal past this point. This is the last store”, and many more similar messages. You would never see such a sign in Japan. I felt I understood, at that point, just how expansive Australia is. From Sydney Station, after being aboard the Indian Pacific for some 24 hours, at 3PM, we arrived at our platform at South Australia's Adelaide Station.