Each one of our Tour Leaders is an experienced traveller and brings their own special brand of excellence to the Railway Adventures team. As a group, they offer unmatched passion, experience, and knowledge of rail history, local intel and tips, to culture and gastronomy.
As individuals, each one of them contributes to our commitment to giving you, our client, the very best experience possible.
SCOTT MCGREGOR has been involved in the media for over 30 years as an actor, presenter, writer and producer, but sharing his love of travel, and particularly railway travel, is where his passion now lies. Graduating from NIDA in 1979, he appeared in a wide range of stage, film and TV roles, including the lead in the ABC’s epic mini-series 1915. He has presented and hosted numerous prime-time ratings winners including many years as the handyman on Better Homes and Gardens and Room For Improvement. He presented two series of his own Railway Adventures for Channels 10 and 7 and a number of programs for The History Channel. After more than a decade leading tours he decided to establish Railway Adventures in 2012. He also owns and operates RUWENZORI—an Orient Express-style tourist retreat on the Great Dividing Range near Mudgee.
BERNADETTE EICHNER is a new addition to the Railway Adventures team. A skilled presenter and an emerging voice for the over-50s, Bernadette’s travel experiences are many and varied, from the wilds of the Kimberly to the port caves of Portugal, the treasures of Angkor Wat and the bright lights of Broadway. Bernadette has already helped lead our 2017 Sri Lanka tour and will add Borneo, Scandinavia and South Africa to her list in 2018.
ALAN COLTMAN is a retired English police officer, having served for 30 years, and considers this a perfect training ground for his current role as a professional tour leader. Alan has had an interest in railways since he was a young child, having grown up living next to the Great Central Railway (GCR) in Leicestershire until its closure in 1969, when he joined the GCR Main Line Preservation Group (MLPG). Over the years he has travelled extensively around the UK and most of Western Europe and has been leading groups for over 12 years on scores of railway-themed tours around the world, including the UK, Germany, India and Switzerland.
MIKE CONDON was born into a railway family with connections to Queensland Rail stretching back to the 1890’s, and so was destined to share this passion of railways. Surrounded by railway books and antiquities as well as being immersed in a household operational life of Queensland Rail, Mike soon found opportunities to travel with his father on locomotives. A career in media as a producer and director afforded Mike the professional skills to record railways by photographing and more prominently filming railways. For over 30 years, Mike has been trackside and on board trains capturing unique scenes of railways. Mike has also worked in production of educational content, corporate marketing and information programs, training materials for the Australian Army’s Aviation Corps, news gathering and training and operational reporting for Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. Mike has a wide range of interests including history, arts and travel. His career has gifted him the opportunity to meet a very wide range of people from diverse backgrounds and he thoroughly enjoys engaging with new people.
HAYLEY ANDERSON has had a lot of experience in the travel industry, living and working in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia and Africa, and touring Canada. She has worked for Scenic Tours as a tour director, for nine years taking passengers all around Australia, extensively touring NZ and taking tours to Africa, Indochina and Canada. She is currently tour leading for Odysseys. Hayley works casually for several companies, taking passengers from visiting cruise ships around Sydney and beyond (including QLD). Hayley has worked with people of all ages and nationalities and understands how important holidays are to her passengers – she is passionate about not only justifying the financial outlay but their high expectations and dreams.
ROBERT KINGSFORD SMITH has had a passion for Railways since he was a child, and so began a quest to record on film the world’s disappearing steam locomotives. His often adventurous travels have taken him to over forty countries. The resulting photographs and articles have appeared in numerous Australian and overseas publications. Robert has led groups of like-minded enthusiasts on tours to places as diverse as South America, Pakistan and South Africa and more recently has been the celebrated tour leader on many Railway Adventure tours through Outback Queensland, Sri Lanka and India. A passion for history and wildlife is well served on his travels and he combines his many interests with regular and extensive train travel.
CHRIS HARDING is President of the Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division.
He was employed for many years in the banking sector, working in international finance, lending, and administration in Sydney, Wollongong and London. In his spare time, Chris continued an active interest in railway history as a tour guide and office bearer at the NSW Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere. Eventually, he had the opportunity to leave the world of banking and work for 3801 Limited, the operating company of the famous steam locomotive 3801. Later, he managed the ARHS Railway Bookshop at Sydney’s Central Station. He became the media contact for commentary on historic and current railway events, frequently appearing on talkback radio and television. Although retired, Chris still enjoys working with his mate, Scott, hosting many railway adventures in Australia and Europe, including the always popular Switzerland tour.
BOB DANIEL has been fascinated with trains all his life, his father having engineered the construction of many of the famous Australian trains during the 1950’s and 60’s, including the Southern Aurora and The Sunlander. Bob is the founder and original owner of Guidepost Tours, established nearly 40 years ago, which now operates niche market tours to many destinations around the world. He regularly travels by rail on local trains throughout South East Asia and many other countries, discovering how the spread of rail routes has led to the development and enhancement of culture and life in rural communities and cities. Whilst still involved with the development of itineraries for Guidepost Tours and Railway Adventures, Bob is heavily involved with Heritage Rail Groups in New South Wales, is qualified in Rail Safety and Track Awareness, and travels regularly on steam and diesel tours as train manager or in other capacities.
Phil has spent most of his life in travel related work and pleasure. He flew internationally with QANTAS Airways for some 20 years. This opened up considerable opportunities for him to travel on numerous rail operations abroad from Asia to Europe, the UK, North America, Canada and parts of South America. He now works with Virgin and continues to explore the Australia and the world.
Phil has a lifelong passion for all things rail, maritime history ships and colonial architecture. While working predominantly in the aviation industry for over 25 years he has also worked in varying capacities in the rail industry, including as rail booking officer for the NSW Department of Tourism and as a relief station attendant based in Northern NSW. He holds an Advanced Diploma (hons) Tourism Management.
Over the years he has been involved in a number of rail heritage preservation groups. In 2004 he established the Tweed Rail Society to lobby government to retain and improve services on the Casino to Murwillumbah rail line in northern NSW. Originally from Sydney, Phil now resides in Adelaide where he continues to lobby governments for improved urban and regional rail services across Australia.
During his time in Adelaide Phil has gained considerable knowledge about South Australia in a variety of areas, including previous and current rail operations. As a keen photographer he has photographed a number of rail operations there. Previous to this he photographed the final days of steam in NSW in the 1960s and 70s. In 1975 he ventured to South Africa to photograph steam in its heyday and returned to Australia late 1978. While in South Africa he also turned to wildlife and landscape photography.
Born and bred in Scotland, David has lived in Lisbon in Portugal for the last 20 years and has always enjoyed travelling, especially by train. His career in Scotland was in banking, helping him to be the careful organiser that he is today. He is known for his relaxed but efficient way of running tours. He first became involved with tour leading almost a decade ago when he joined enthusiast tours in Portugal and was later asked to assist his predecessor with some of the larger groups.
David took over as Tour Manager in Portugal in 2012 and specialises in the company’s tours in Portugal, France, Austria and Sri Lanka, and some of the Spanish and Italian tours, though he has also led a tour in Australia. He speaks Portuguese and a little German.
A true citizen of the World, John Medcalf has a wealth of travel experience. He began at an early age as an international flight attendant with Qantas progressing eventually to cabin crew line manager. After 26 years with Qantas John logged another 25 years as a Tour Manager leading tours in Australia and overseas. His list of countries visited now exceeds 70. The list continues to grow.
John says “It’s hard to define a favourite destination, as I still get a buzz out of visiting new destinations. Travel has been my life and shall continue to be. I get great satisfaction being able to share my broad range of experience with my tour clients.
Once John visits Taiwan, he can say he say he has been to every country in Asia. He has extensive knowledge of Japan, Vietnam and India.
Born and raised in Sydney John settled in the Mudgee area and has resided there for 25 years. He and his wife live on a property near Kandos where for 12 years they ran a B&B located in the old homestead house, established circa 1845. They spent 4 years building their dream home, a stone yurt set on the edge of the escarpment at 820 mts. Here they enjoy the blissful serenity of the wildlife and bushland that surrounds them.
Lissa has worked in the travel industry in Australia and overseas for 30 years and travelled to over 80 countries. She joined Railway Adventures in October 2018 and plays a key role in the organisation and fulfilment of every tour in the program. Having grown up in Florence, Italy and snagging a job with Italian Tourism early in her career, Lissa was hooked on travel from a young age. A fluent Italian speaker and a lover of all things Italian, a move from corporate travel to Air Zimbabwe, introduced a new passion, all things African. A move to University of Sydney Study Tours enabled Lissa to combine her national tourism, corporate and airline experience with her ebullient personality to start developing and leading tour programs in her own right. After 15 years with USyd, she ventured into the world of specialist small group tour operators, where she has found her niche.