This is an NFSA Digital Learning resource. See all Digital Learning websites.


On The Rails comprises three ‘journey’ modules, each focusing on a single classic Australian train trip. The emphasis is on open-ended learning and discussion, with each module being applicable to various curriculum areas depending on teacher guidance.

The modules follow the routes of the three train journeys, with a number of stops along the way where students will have to complete challenges to proceed. These challenges are often based upon the viewing of video clips from Film Australia films.

After completing all challenges, students will earn a printable certificate as proof of their journey. By saving their details, students can complete their journey in stages during a subsequent lesson or for homework.

The Teachers Guides below give more specific details for each of the three modules.

The On The Rails site is not an interactive exploration resource – it is a structured linear learning experience.

The Ghan and Tea & Sugar modules are suitable for lower secondary students.

The Puffing Billy module is more suited to upper primary students.

Teachers may also view the video clips separately through the Train Enthusiasts section.

Download Teachers Guides

- Puffing Billy (PDF 431KB)
- Tea and Sugar (PDF 283KB)
- The Ghan (PDF 437KB)