Railway Adventures – Heritage Train Tour Leaders Q & A’s with Chris Harding

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
    I live in Sydney NSW. My background was initially in banking, working in all aspects from front line to international and administrative.Took the opportunity to leave the high pressure, and work for Steam Heritage operator 3801 Limited, doing back-office jobs including finance and tour administration.I moved on to run the Central Station Bookshop for the Australian Railway Historical Society. I am the current Vice President of that society.Over the years, I have also volunteered as a tour guide showing people around the exhibits of the Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere, then later as a guide for the abandoned tunnels under Sydney, and Central Station.I had known Scott, on and off, over several years; and the opportunity came one day when we were talking about his tours, and I candidly offered to design a Swiss Tour for him, not expecting him to take me up on the offer.

  2. What attracted you to the love of train travel?
    From my earliest days, I have found the sight and sound of trains overwhelming and impressive. The thought of taking a long journey behind a big steam locomotive filled me with such excitement that I couldn’t sleep the night before a journey. The thought of seeing new places, and the experience of passing through small towns in the early morning, as they awakened, or seeing the lights as we passed at night made me feel part of the landscape.As my interest in rail history grew, I found looking out the window for signs of earlier infrastructure, and the types of trains we passed could occupy me for the entire journey. After working with rail heritage, I also gained respect for the work being done by the men up in the cab. Their efforts to keep the train running smoothly, and on time, is something the average passenger never thinks about.When I began travelling internationally, I realised that train travel is the best way to see the world – uncluttered by motorways, traffic jams; and accessing places that tour buses don’t go because of their tight schedules.There is a relaxing side of travel by rail that air or road cannot match. Grand trains, like the famous named expresses, are the ocean liners of the land.

  3. Favourite country in the world, and why?
    I have always loved rail travel through Switzerland; it is the world’s largest train set.But I have to say that for ease of money exchange, language, and friendliness of operators, clients and people in general, that Australia is my preferred place to host tours. Plus, there is no major time difference if I need to contact the office, no long flights or waiting around in transit lounges.

  4. Where haven’t you visited but is on the bucket list?
    The USA and Canada are places I haven’t been and would have to visit for their rail systems and grand museums.

  5. How long have you worked with Railway Adventures?
    I started with Railway Adventures in April 2014, hosting the first of their Swiss Alpine Tours. This was the tour I had put together for Scott, and I imagined it would have limited appeal to most of his clients but was proved very wrong.I was invited to do tours of TasmaniaOutback Queensland, and Japan – and now host another tour I recently designed – Dinosaur Country.

  6. Your Favourite Railway Adventures Tour?
    I always loved the Swiss tours. You can’t beat the scenery; but I am really excited about my new dinosaur experience and think that will become my all-time favourite.

  7. Your most memorable Railway Adventures Tour?
    The first one I hosted- the Swiss Alpine Tour. I’d never done anything like that before – in fact it was the first organised tour I’d ever been on, and I was hosting it. The way it all worked seamlessly, and having Scotty along as backup, made it a great initiation, and the feedback was wonderful on a personal level.

  8. What is your favourite international cuisine?
    A toss up between Italian and Japanese. Italian for the richness of the flavours, and Japanese for the variety and delicacy of the dishes.

  9. What are your top 5 packing essentials?
    Self-ironing shirts. Hat. Sensible footwear. Phone/Laptop. Basic sanitary products.

  10. Tell us why you love your job
    I love it because my clients love it. If I couldn’t get a buzz out of seeing their reaction to the product we offer or feel that I haven’t done a job that is appreciated, I wouldn’t still be doing tours. Plus, I have met some wonderful people on tour.Back in 2014, I imagined I would only be working with Railway Adventures for about 12 months, but the enjoyment I get from the tours has kept my interest for seven years; and as long as I can continue to share my enthusiasm, I’ll keep doing them.Chris currently Tour leads on Dinosaur CountryOutback Queensland and Queensland Savannah.

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.
1300 800 977 or email us at [email protected] to request a brochure on our domestic tours in 2022 or visit our website to view all our tours.

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