The Indian Pacific: Australia’s Longest Train Journey doesn't end with the 3-hour epic journey you saw last weekend on SBS. That was just a taste of what the Indian Pacific offers. It's time to settle in for the real slow summer experience with the full 17-hour Indian Pacific journey this Saturday (ALL DAY!) on SBS VICELAND from 2am.
This is a calm and enjoyable 17 hours of well-measured train excitement broadcast to living rooms across Australia.
There are a lot of fun and interesting things to keep your eye out for along the way, but there were 17 quiet moments that specifically tickled our fancy.
The Train Driver - Hour 1
They say that if you want to look like you are important, but important enough to be left alone, you just need to wander around with a clip board. There's no faking it here, however. As we meet our train driver at the 24-minute mark, we know that he's an important guy because not only does he have a clip board in his hand... but he's also driving an iconic train.
Hubcaps - Hour 1
It's a misconception that the Indian Pacific train is just a passenger train. While the weekly service can have up to 25 passenger carriages attached, it also has two motorail wagons, allowing passengers to take their cars with them.
The Wave Hello - Hour 2
This isn't an episode of Seinfeld where a lack of acknowledgement of other people on the rail line will lead to a major social faux pas. But, a wave hello is both polite and creates an opportunity to engage with another human being while out driving on the rails.
The Dining Car - Hour 2
It's the place to see and be seen. It's also nice to know that while you're on the couch yourself with a cheeky glass of red, the patrons on the train are doing the same.
The Long Shot - Hour 3
This really is an impressively long train. After the establishing shot of its length, there is actually a really cool sweeping shot that swings around the length of the train, then starts lowering down to get on top of the train, hovering just above it for a few minutes. It's pretty cool.
Another Train - Hour 3
We finally see a passing train. That's two trains for your buck!
Upside View - Hour 3
We leave no angle unexplored across the 17 hour show. If there is a millimetre of this train unseen by the end of this journey, you haven't been paying enough attention.
It's a Bit Gorgeous - Hour 4
We saw it with The Ghan last year and it is on full-display here - Australia is a bit gorgeous. And the Indian Pacific slow event really showcases it nicely with shots like this.
Lounge Cart By Dusk - Hour 4
As the sun goes down, the party has moved on to the lounge as passengers mingle together with a crownie in hand. Could this slow extravaganza be more Australian?
Kalgoorlie turns to Dusk - Hour 5
As the train nears Kalgoorlie, there is this beautiful insert shot. It's easy to dismiss a slow TV show as just being long, continuous coverage of the same thing, but regularly the Indian Pacific show is giving us artful moments like this.
Passenger Information - Hour 5
Throughout the SBS slow programming, audiences are routinely treated to on-screen graphics that highlight interesting nuggets of info about the train and geography of the location on screen. The train passengers are kept similarly informed with information from the train staff.
Creative Liberties - Hour 6
The actual Indian Pacific train ride takes over four times the length of the slow experience presented here, so liberties are taken with the journey's timeline. Also, watching a train in the darkness of night for 10 hours is hardly the riveting viewing one expects from a slow TV program. We wake up in the town of Rawlinna. Population 30.
Breakfast Service - Hour 7
We take a look into the kitchen of the Indian Pacific as the staff prepare the most important meal of the day.
Wind Power - Hour 10
There's always something exciting about seeing wind turbines (whether by train or otherwise). Sustainable energy is cool, but aesthetically, wind turbines are very impressive.
Mingary - Hour 13
The on-screen graphics presented throughout the slow program present a sense of contextual awareness to what you're seeing on screen. We're all guilty of this as travellers, but passing through a region, it can be easy to ignore the fact that every region has its own culture and history, even if it looks and feels the same as other nearby land you've traveled through. Here, on the border of New South Wales, we're reminded of the Barkandji people, the now-recognised traditional owners of the region. It was NSW's largest native title claim, covering more than 128,000 sq/km.
Regional NSW - Hour 14
Over the course of 17 hours of the train journey, we witness different types of terrain. While taking in this lush shot from regional NSW, it stands in stark contrast to much of what we saw in the earlier hours of the program. Two different regions, each with their own particular beauty.
The End of The Line - Hour 17
It's time to stand up, stretch your legs, and high five those around you. This is it. You've reached the end. They say that it is about the journey and not the destination. But, let's be honest - regardless of how great a journey is, sometimes it's still nice to see it through to its conclusion.
Slow Summer rolls out slow TV every Sunday in January 2019 from 7:30pm and all day on Australia Day, on SBS and SBS On Demand, with Australian, New Zealand and UK train journeys to chill to.