Further to the discussion that Erk & Drue had in episode 135 of Erk Pod about travel between Sydney and Melbourne, I will add some details that we didn’t make during the discussion.
Drue mentioned the discounts that RailCorp employees receive for train travel. In general, we get free government travel (train, bus & ferry) within the State of NSW and pay full fare from the state borders. This is throughout the entire year. While on leave, we can elect to get free travel within NSW for partner or family (conditions apply). Or we can get a point to point pass for interstate travel while on leave for ourselves and partner or family (again, conditions apply) and all we’d have to pay is sleeping berth and meal charges. As an example in 1997, I did a trip Sydney – Perth – Adelaide – Melbourne – Sydney and all I had to pay was about $400 for sleeping berths that I used on the Adelaide – Perth – Adelaide and Adelaide – Melbourne sectors. If I sat up all the way (which I don’t recommend on that trip), the cost would have been $0.
Here in Australia in terms of air travel, we have 1 “full fare” airline on the domestic sector in the form of QANTAS. QANTAS serves most of the main intercapital and major regional routes between state capitals in addition to the International section of the airline. While they do offer discount fares, they are not regarded as a budget airline. On most of the same routes as QANTAS plus selected other routes, discount airlines Virgin Blue and Jetstar (an offshoot of QANTAS) also operate. Then there are several regional airlines that operate regional services including Skywest, Rex and QANTASlink.
Also, there are bus services as well. In some areas, rail operators such as CountryLink run bus services to link with their train services. These are usually in areas where train services once existed but no longer have trains serving them. The most well known long distance bus operator is Greyhound Australia but there are several other operators as well.