|Founded||1 November 1997|
|Chris Tallent, CEO (January 2012 - )|
|Parent||Journey Beyond Group (Quadrant Private Equity)|
Since 2017, Journey Beyond has been a business name (together with more than a dozen other related names) of an Australian private company, Experience Australia Group Pty Ltd. As of December 2021[update], the company was a diversified tourism business based in Adelaide, South Australia, known mainly for operating Australian interstate experiential tourism trains (The Ghan, the Indian Pacific, The Overland, and the Great Southern) but also with interests in cruise and air tourism. In turn, the company had been owned by Quadrant Private Equity since 2016. In January 2022, Quadrant Private Equity sold the business to United States company the Hornblower Group.
Before the 1990s, the government-owned Australian National Railways Commission, trading as Australian National, was the owner and operator of Australia's interstate railways and freight and passenger trains. From 1996 to 1998, Australian National was broken up and in 1997 its interstate passenger trains — The Ghan, Indian Pacific and The Overland — were sold to Great Southern Rail (GSR), a consortium of GB Railways, Legal & General, Macquarie Bank, RailAmerica, G13 Pty Ltd and Serco. Included in the sale were 186 items of rolling stock, mainly former Commonwealth Railways stainless steel carriages and the Adelaide Parklands Terminal and Alice Springs railway station. In 1999, Serco bought all the shares from its consortium partners, becoming the sole owner.
Pacific National provided the motive power for the trains; GSR owned the passenger car fleet and provided services.
In 2014, Serco announced its intention to sell the business, and the sale was concluded in 2015 to Allegro Funds, which only a year later sold the assets to another private equity company, Quadrant Private Equity.
In January 2022, Quadrant Private Equity sold its 13 brands, including the trains, Cruise Whitsundays, Melbourne Skydeck and Outback Spirit, for a reported AU$300 million. The buyer was the Hornblower Group, a cruise and tour company based in San Francisco, which operates from 125 American cities and whose businesses include Hornblower Cruises.
- G13 Pty Ltd
- Great Southern Railway Consortium completes acquisition of Australian National Railways Passenger Business Archived 10 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine Serco 31 October 1997
- "Goodbye AN Passenger, Hello Great Southern Railway" Railway Digest December 1997 page 7
- About Us Archived 9 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine Great Southern Rail
- "Serco Takes Full Control of GSR" Railway Digest January 2000 page 7
- "Great Southern Rail launches new luxury rail cruise The Southern Spirit". 17 June 2008. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
- Update on Serco's Strategy Review Archived 17 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine Serco 10 November 2014
- "Allegro Funds buys Great Southern Rail from Serco". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 March 2015.
- Great Southern Rail to be bought by Allegro in high-end tourism push ABC News 30 March 2015
- "Control of the Indian Pacific, Ghan changes one more time in private equity reshuffle". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 September 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- "Great Southern Rail to launch Adelaide-Brisbane service". InDaily. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
- "Great Southern explores new territory". greatsouthernrail.com.au. 25 November 2018. Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
- Allen, Lisa (13 January 2022). "US travel firm makes $600m punt on Journey Beyond". The Australian. Canberra. p. 14. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
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