Victorian Ghan passengers in quarantine

·2-min read

Dozens of Victorian tourists aboard two outback train services have had their holiday plans disrupted after being ordered into COVID-19 quarantine.

More than 50 passengers were offloaded from The Ghan in remote South Australia and Northern Territory.

Both jurisdictions have imposed travel restrictions for people from Greater Melbourne and Bendigo amid a growing coronavirus outbreak, which now stands at 30 cases.

Thirty-two passengers who boarded the historic cross-country train in Adelaide on Wednesday, bound for the NT, were unloaded at Marla in SA.

They were transported by coach back to Adelaide where they were placed in hotel quarantine for COVID-19 testing.

"We did have passengers offloaded in remote South Australia and they've been taken to a facility in Adelaide," "NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles told reporters Friday.

"We clearly apologise to them for any inconvenience."

Twenty travellers on the southbound train were disembarked in Alice Springs and taken to the nearby Todd quarantine facility, also for testing, after no other suitable accommodation was found.

"There (were) a number of people on The Ghan who have been at high-risk exposure sites," South Australia's Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier told reporters on Thursday.

"My understanding is they would require quarantine in Alice Springs and then my team has been working through the rest of the passengers."

Fourteen passengers on the westbound Indian Pacific train service were also removed.

Twelve disembarked in regional NSW before travelling to Sydney where they stayed overnight before returning to Victoria.

Two were offloaded in Adelaide and were placed in hotel quarantine.

"Our priority is to ensure the safety and welfare of our guests and staff while complying with state government mandates," a Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions spokeswoman said.

The Ghan first crossed the outback in 1929 carrying passengers and freight. It has since become a luxury travel experience, servicing a route between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin.

It stopped running for five months in 2020 due to COVID-19 border closures, the longest break in operations in the train's 91-year history.

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