This Is for Non-Australians

Following a Norwegian programming idea, the SBS network in Australia recently aired a three-hour program mostly shot out the window on a train, the Ghan, which makes a regular three-day journey between Darwin and Adelaide. Response was sufficient for SBS to schedule a longer, seventeen-hour version of the same.

On the off chance that you are not reading this in Australia, and thus are unable to watch the TV version, here are some photos from the Ghan. And here is a link to my trip report at the time, posted just after we’d finished the 51 hour and ten minute journey.

Our journey began in Darwin, southbound.

The Ghan

Morning coffee in the lounge

Outside Darwin it looks like this.

First excursion stop, the Katherine Gorge

Way out in the middle of the outback

Wise guy at Lice Springs.

Somewhere out there, this happens.

And eventually as Adelaide draws closer, the countryside turns green.

Click ’em to enlarge them, and see photos from across Australia in the Australia Gallery at

Corruption in China’s Push for High Speed Rail


There's an article in the New Yorker, also online, that may give you pause when you settle in to that new luxury high-speed train on your next trip to China. The key quote:

“Inside the system today, if you don’t take bribes you have to get out.
There’s no way you can stay. If three of us are in one department, and
you are the only one who doesn’t take a bribe, are the two of us ever
going to feel safe?”