Hi, Denis !
Michael2's date for the East-West standard gauge track from Sydney to
Perth is quite correct, but is not a complete answer.
The Indian Pacific passenger train's first run in February 1970 from
Sydney Central to East Perth linked New South Wales, Victoria, South
Australia and Western Australia but bypassed Adelaide, the capital of
South Australia. The Adelaide rail terminal (with standard gauge
connection) was opened in May 1984.
This leaves out Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
In any case, the individual state networks are still not in match - it
is only routes between the capital cities which are standard gauge,
with the exceptions of the island state, Tasmania, which is entirely
narrow gauge and which has no rail link to the mainland; and Drwin in
The Northern Teritory which still has no rail link. The only adjacent
states which match guages are Victoria and South Australia.
There are now standard guage links between Sydney and Melbourne but
the rest of the Victorian network is broadguage (5'3") with some
local narrowguage (3'6) in forest areas. A map of the Victorian
Network V/line operated by National Express under a ten year franchise
granted by the Government of Vistoria, can be found at:
The rail services are the blue lines.
The export port of Geelong (near Melbourne) is served by both standard
and broad guage.
Victoria also has a private rail service West Coast Railway between
Melbourne and Warrnambool, replacing a state service now closed.
The Queensland network is narrowguage, with a standard gauge
connection with Sydney. The New South Wales & Australian Capital
Territory system is standard gauge .(The ACT is a small area within
the borders of New South Wales set up as an independent administrative
district around the federal capital Canberra) However the Western
Australian system is still narrow gauge and the South Australian
system is broad gauge.
The Ghan to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory went from narrow
guage to standard guage in 1956 when it bypassed Pichi Richi - a local
preservation group still runs trains on the narrow guage section.
The final link in the national standard gauge network is still under
construction - the AustralAsia Pacific Railway corporation is
currently constructing the link bewteen Alice Springs and the capital
of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
The AustralAsia Railway will complete the final link in Australia's
rail network. The project involves:
Construction of a new 1420km stretch of standard gauge line between
Alice Springs and Darwin;
The lease and maintenance of the existing 830km line between Tarcoola
(near Adelaide) and Alice Springs;
Integration of the completed railway line with Darwin's East Arm Port,
which includes a railway embankment and intermodal container terminal;
Operation of the completed transcontinental railway line from Tarcoola
through to Darwin for 50 years. "
Progress as at August 2002 is mapped at:
A further reference you might enjoy is: "All Aboard! Trains of
Australia" by Patsy Adam Smith, published by Australia Post 1993.
"Northern Teritory Railway"