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On The Rails is an interactive educational website designed for use by upper primary and lower secondary students, their teachers, and train enthusiasts. It uses video clips from Film Australia to take a participant on a number of Australian rail journeys through both time and place, with appropriate educational resources integrated into these online journeys.

The website is structured around three iconic Australian trains:

  • The transcontinental Ghan, recently extended with the latest railway technology, linking the nation from Adelaide through Alice Springs to Darwin.
  • The Puffing Billy steam train, a relic of a past age of train travel, now a tourist attraction running through a distinct natural environment in the Victorian Dandenong ranges.
  • The Tea & Sugar train, a now-defunct “shopping and supplies” service that visited the remote communities strung between Port Augusta in South Australia and Kalgoorlie in West Australia.

Whilst this initial version of On The Rails will contain only these three journeys, the engine powering the site has been designed to be modular and scaleable, allowing the addition of any number of further journeys (and related content) at later stages.



A Film Australia production.

The On The Rails website was produced for Film Australia’s Educational Production Initiative by Molly Reynolds, in association with The Farm, Kim Hamilton and Mat Hardy.

Film Australia is a company owned by the Australian government.


For The Production Team

Producer/Content Director: Molly Reynolds
Production Manager/Web Director: Laurindo Garcia and Nik Bambrick
Researcher, Writer, Content Editor: Mat Hardy
Educational Consultant: Chris Sumners
Graphic & Interface Design: KIm Hamilton
Lead Programmer & Technician: Chris Pile, The Farm
Flash Programmers & Developers: Andrew Peel and Alan Gargett

Film Australia

Executive Producer (Education): Chris Warner
Production Coordinator (Education): Aida Innocente
Production Secretary: Michelle Clarke
Research : Film Australia Library

Digital Transfers: Peter Litton
Marketing & Distribution: Lucy Milne, Kirsten Tilgals, Jacqui Stone, Kym Druitt, Jackson Pellow
Accounting: David Stalder

Thanks to:

National Railway Museum, Lee Burton, Great Southern Railways, Megan Heyward and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Kate Fielding, Richard Broome, Mary Cath Togolo.

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