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The Royal Australian Mint has launched new collector coins (8th July) which celebrate 90 years of exceptional rail expeditions with new colour-applied 50-cent coins depicting the iconic Australian train, The Afghan Express.
The new coins celebrate one of Australia’s most famous railway journeys while telling the story of one of the world’s great railway journeys of “The Ghan,” as it became known to an entire continent. Begun in 1929, the Afghan Express steam train commenced its first route to the township of Stuart, now Alice Springs. In its early days, the train journey could be unpredictable and was once famously stranded in the desert for two weeks. Colloquially known as The Ghan, the Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions route has expanded from Adelaide in South Australia through Alice Springs, all the way to Darwin. The 2,979-kilometre (1,850-mile) journey is a luxury tourist experience in its own right and includes off-train excursions in locations such as Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, and Katherine. From Adelaide to Darwin, Great Southern Rail’s Ghan passes through magnificent and beautiful landscapes from the desert to the tropics and has now become one of Australia’s most luxurious and iconic railway journeys.
Fourth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.
ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2019
Depicts the newest branded model Ghan which is the NR75 class, an Australian diesel locomotive built by A Goninan & Co for National Rail between 1996 and 1998, and currently operated by Pacific National and Rhys McDonald. The denomination of 50 is placed to the upper right with the inscription THE GHAN 1929 – 2019 placed along the lower edge towards the right side.