After a trip described as a "nightmare" nearly 300 men, women, and children evacuees, many of them wearing the only clothes they possess, completed a 2,000-mile journey from Darwin…Some of the men had no shoes, while others arrived clad in shorts and singlets only. One man said he left Darwin with only a pair of shorts.

—The Advertiser,  28 February, 1942
The Mail, 21 March 1942. Source: National Library of Australia.

As the war progressed, not all the passengers who passed through Quorn willingly signed up.

Evacuees from Darwin also traveled the line on their way to Adelaide or Perth.

On arrival in the Quorn district, evacuees were overwhelmed with the generosity of locals who gave them meals, clothing and moral support for the rest of their journey.

Also coming down the line were soldiers home on leave or who had been discharged. By the time they passed through, the once celebratory mood had changed. In 1942 Quorn and District Patriotic Social Committee made this somber request in the local paper:

Quorn Mercury, 10 April 1942. Source: John Mannion collection.