Western Australia is, by far, Australia’s largest state. Rich in agricultural resources and minerals, Western Australia has one of the world’s biggest mining industries, and the town of Kalgoorlie is still a huge producer of gold.
The journey is fast and comfortable, and you can really enjoy watching the countryside pass you by as you watch through the grand panorama windows. There is a licensed snack bar on board, excellent modern, clean toilets and a selection of seatback videos from which to choose.
Or, you can watch the journey from the driver’s perspective on the seat-back screen.
The journey time can vary as most of the journey is on a single track and occasionally The Prospector has to wait in a siding to allow a goods train to pass. Some of those goods trains are seriously long, so take a while to pass.
The landscape changes as the train heads east. Firstly, you experience Perth suburbia, but after about 30 minutes The Prospector begins its climb through the Darling Range, following the route of the Avon River to Toodyay, where rich farmland becomes the norm.
It continues like this for another couple of hours until the train reaches Merredin, where the crews of the two Prospectors take over from one another.
Gradually, the farmland becomes even more sparse, until the train enters the world’s largest temperate woodland. From here to Kalgoorlie you will see many lakes which, depending on the season, will either be full and brimming with birdlife, or mostly dry.
As Kalgoorlie is not a huge town, you don’t get much warning that the journey is about to end. The city limits suddenly appear and a few minutes later the train pulls into the station.
Travelling on The Prospector is a fantastic way to enjoy Western Australia. You do get some idea of the size of the state because even though you’ve travelled for over seven hours at a reasonably fast speed, you still have many hundreds of kilometres to travel before getting near the border with South Australia.