• The Ghan vs the Hogwarts Express. (SBS/Warner Bros)Source: SBS/Warner Bros
Due to demand by nobody, two of the world’s best known trains are compared head-to-head to determine which is superior.
Rob Hunter

15 Jan 2018 - 11:22 AM  UPDATED 15 Jan 2018 - 11:23 AM

In Australia’s first interpretation of the internationally popular Slow TV movement, SBS invites viewers to experience The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey. No ads. No breaks. Simply three hours to relax and enjoy the mesmeric click-clacking of Australia’s most famed train tranquilly traversing the heart of the nation.

Naturally, however, when speaking of great trains, comparisons between the best are sure to arise. And scarcely could such a conversation take place without comparison to the most famous modern train of all: the Hogwarts Express.

Scenic appeal

The Ghan’s journey from Adelaide to Darwin includes passage through some of Australia’s most beautiful, unspoilt and culturally significant land, passing valleys, deserts and mountains. Meanwhile, whatever is going on outside the Hogwarts Express isn’t enough to impress Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), who looks positively uninterested.


Whether it's random attacks from Dementors, Death Eaters or the Dark Lord himself, the Hogwarts Express is under constant threat of danger. Furthermore, every child on board is armed with a lethal weapon in the form of a wand that most students are still learning how to adequately control.

Though there is a slim possibility of accident when travelling by rail, The Ghan presents none of these additional concerns and does not openly endorse children bearing arms, let alone require it.


Children have as much right to travel as anyone, but an entire train full of them on their way to school is a nightmare regardless of what world you live in.

Will your food jump out a window?

A constant concern for those of us who worry about things that will never happen, food purchased on The Ghan is far less likely to escape and jump out a window than it is on the Hogwarts Express. If it does, it is almost certainly under-cooked and you would be well within your rights to politely request a refund.

Is the train real?

The magical realm of Harry Potter exists inside all of us, allowing fans to put the stress and drama of the real world aside to enjoy an amazing fantasy land filled with magic and adventure. In other words, no, it is not real. As a train that definitively exists, The Ghan therefore has a distinct advantage over the Hogwarts Express, presenting a considerably more convenient option for human travellers.


Streaming now at SBS On Demand, The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey showcases some of Australia’s true highlights in a soothing and immersive fashion never before seen on Australian television. So sit back, relax and enjoy a journey that reminds us all why the legendary Ghan is one of the great trains of the world and undoubtedly superior to an imaginary train full of boisterous and lethally armed children...

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