Heritage Train Tour Leaders Q & A with Chris Darvall

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in North Queensland, Kuranda. On a small farm with lots of animals. After studying Performing Arts in Townsville, I moved to Sydney to work in the film industry, mainly behind the camera in the art department.

In 1992 I went to Japan for the first time to visit a friend. It was the start of a love affair with the country that hasn’t stopped. Returning to Japan every year until I finally moved there in 2012, working as an actor and handyman. A great second life!

  1. What attracted you to the love of train travel?

The first train that impressed me when I was a child was Puffing Billy in Ferntree Gully in Victoria. The raw power and rhythm of the steam engine were incredible for a small child. Once we moved to Kuranda in North Queensland, I took the Kuranda tourist train for the first time as a tourist. I was amazed by the beautiful rail carving its way through the range and tropical forest. A year later I would find myself on this train twice a day to get to and from high school. This beautiful trip was definitely not appreciated by a group of high school students! It wasn’t until much later I realized how lucky I was to have that experience. 

Now living in Japan with its brilliant modern train system and its wonderful history of this industry. I’m always happy even to be just commuting.  

  1. Favourite country in the world, and why?

Japan is my favourite country and I’ve turned it into my home. Every layer of its old culture is phenomenal. The food is so delicious and healthy. The people are quiet and respectful which fits very well with me. I’m very comfortable and happy with my second life in Japan and have no intentions of returning to Australia.

  1. Where haven’t you visited but is on the bucket list?

I would love to go to Vietnam and travel through the country on trains to enjoy the tropical views and smell the countryside out of the windows.

  1. How long have you worked with Railway Adventures?

 This will be my first year working with Railway Adventures. I’m excited to see where this will lead and the people I will meet. And to share my love of Japan with others. 

  1. Your Favourite Railway Adventures Tour?

Japan by Rail – Highlights of Honshu for the Colours of Autumn. I co-guided the 2022 Autumn tour and loved travelling through the countryside and sharing my love of this country with others. 

  1. Your most memorable Railway Adventures Tour?

I have participated in three tours so far and all were unique and memorable. It’s too early to choose but I loved them all. I am excited to be tour leading the Japan Springtime Spectacular in April 2024.

  1. What is your favourite international cuisine?

Japanese of course! Japanese people often ask how I handle eating the food here. My response is “Every day, 3 times a day is a fabulous, delicious diet for the rest of my life”.

  1. What are your top 5 packing essentials?
  • An open mind 
  • Optimism 
  • Acceptance of what you can’t control
  • Good walking shoes 
  • And a rail pass. 
  1. Tell us why you love your job!

While travelling around this country by train I get to share my love and passion for Japan with other like-minded people. It’s nearly the perfect job. 

I look forward to travelling with you!



Scott McGregor’s Railway Adventures tour is more than just a holiday, it is a unique way to experience the world. By train you are completely immersed in culture and adventure, exploring the most scenic corners of the world in the comfort of a luxury train. Whether you are an experienced traveller or just beginning to explore this wonderful world, Railway Adventures has something for everyone. Transform your holiday into the most unforgettable adventure of a lifetime with Railway Adventures.

Call 1300 800 977 or email us at [email protected] to request a brochure on our tours in 2023 and 2024 or visit our website to view all our tours.

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