Spectacular film of railroading during the steam era in the states of South Australia (state capital, Adelaide) and Queensland (state capital, Brisbane). South Australia has the most eclectic mix of rail gauges on the continent including broad, standard and narrow gauge. All gauges are shown! Small rural passenger trains tie together a nation of vast, dry emptiness (similar to the American West three generations ago) chugging through the desert and across the outback.
The 400 Class Garratts remain as some of the last steam in Australia hauling silver, lead and zinc from the massive Broken Hill mines to Port Pirie. In Queensland coal fired Garratts haul bucket coal cars. Small brightly painted 0-6-0 engines ferry freshly cut sugar cane to the mills near Bundaberg in a remarkable 1900 mile two-foot gauge empire.