There's a certain romance about train travel that's hard to imagine if you're sleeping upright in cattle class on an overnight interstate train trip in Australia. Ugh. But Australia now has something that comes close to the likes of the luxurious Venice Simplon Orient Express in the romantic train stakes - the new Platinum class service on The Ghan. Named after the Afghan cameleers who trekked the same route from South Australia to 'the red centre' in the Northern Territory with their camel trains in the 19th century, the shiny silver Ghan takes two days and nights to travel the 3,000 kilometres between Adelaide, Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin. And then it trundles all the way back again. While you can travel on the Red or Gold Service, sleeping upright or on bunks in a snug sleeper cabin, respectively, the spacious Platinum class rooms (pictured) with flat beds, offer a level of comfort that's incomparable to other trains in Australia - as we were lucky to find out for ourselves recently! I'd spent my birthday working until the wee hours of the morning emailing files and maps to editors in London before we hit the road for a few months, and the next night Terry and I were hastily packing until the wee hours of the morning, trying to anticipate what we were likely to forget - aside from sleep and our senses of humour. So perhaps we appreciated that welcome glass of champagne a little more than the other passengers. And the bedside nightcap after dinner. And the coffee delivered to us in bed soon after dawn. There’s an endearingly old-fashioned restaurant car where three course meals were served with a smile (the staff are incredibly warm and friendly) and a smart-looking lounge bar, but our spacious rooms with private bathroom (including shower and toilet!) were very difficult to leave. Our two single beds were made up and stowed away while we dined, leaving plenty of room for us sit back and put up our feet and take in the changing scenery from either side of the train. Not that we had much time to enjoy it. Whistle-stop tours en route range from an early morning hot air balloon ride across the arid Alice Springs desert to an exhilarating helicopter flight over spectacular Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. We chose the latter - and it was thrilling! My main complaint about The Ghan? Not enough time on the train; I probably could have done without the tours. I enjoyed gazing at the stars from my bed so much and got a such a kick out of waking up with sunshine in my face, that I would have liked to have spent more time on board and spent longer watching the scenery change.