Royal Australian Mint coin makes tracks to collectors
- Published: Jan 28, 2020, 11 AM
Australia’s famed passenger rail service, the Indian Pacific, has been operating between Sydney, on the Pacific Ocean coast, and Perth, on the Indian Ocean coast, for 50 years. It is one of the few truly transcontinental trains in the world.
The Royal Australian Mint celebrates this railway milestone with a new colorful 50-cent coin, following on the heels of 2019’s popular coin to mark the 90th anniversary of The Ghan, another Australian train. As with that coin, the Royal Australian Mint is conducting a contest (eligible to residents of Australia only) to win a trip on the India Pacific train.
Starting a new train service
On Feb. 23, 1970, the first Indian Pacific service left Sydney, becoming the first direct train to cross the Australian continent.
This service was made possible when the east-west standard gauge project was completed several months earlier, allowing a single journey from the east to west Australia and back.
The Indian Pacific, named for the two oceans that the train connects on its journey, travels from Sydney across the Nullarbor to Perth, taking in Broken Hill, Adelaide and Kalgoorlie.
The entire journey of 4,352 kilometers (2,704 miles) takes four days. The journey includes the longest straight stretch of railway track in the world: a 478-kilometer (297-mile) stretch across the Nullarbor.
According to the Royal Australian Mint, “The Indian Pacific is considered one of the great railway journeys in the world. The wedge-tailed eagle logo of the Indian Pacific reflects the unique and ancient landscapes that are enjoyed by its passengers.”
About the new coin
The colorful 50-cent coin is not intended to circulate, and is being sold only to collectors, at a premium.
The coin has the same specifications of circulating 50-cent coins (weighing 15.55 grams and measuring 31.51 millimeters in diameter).
With a mintage limit of 30,000 pieces, the coin retails for $15 Australian.
The Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse.
The coin can be purchased online.
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