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On the Tracks (ATOM Study Guide)

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On the Tracks discovers just what it takes to transport ever-growing numbers of passengers and crucial resources across one of the most extreme and hostile places on the planet. In a wild frontier world of blistering heat and vast distances, an army of workers toil day and night to keep the nation's lifeblood flowing … with a little help from some of the biggest and most powerful trains in the world.

Australian rail operators are world leaders in heavy-haul rail freight, moving some of the longest and heaviest freight trains in the world. With unprecedented access, On the Tracks goes behind the scenes to discover train drivers and track maintenance teams on some of the toughest, most demanding and spectacular journeys.

From 2 kilometre–long freight monsters delivering supplies to and from the second-most isolated capital city in the world, travelling across almost 3000 kilmoetres of desert that is the famous Nullarbor plain, to the scrub and red dirt of Western Australia's Pilbara Region, On the Tracks follows track maintenance workers who are racing to deliver gargantuan amounts of precious iron ore from mine to port.

Then on to the Flinders Ranges, South Australia's largest mountain range, where the Pichi Pichi Railway volunteer crew run a 1920s steam train named after the Pichi Pichi mountain pass.

The film follows the men and women who keep this incredibly complex rail network running to schedule. From passenger trains to mining, freight, and the rail and train maintenance crews who support them, we tell the story of the intricate inner workings of a vital Australian industry.

Curriculum links

On the Tracks can be linked to Year 8 studies of Economics, Geography, Science and English within the Australian Curriculum.

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