The first Ghan to Darwin departed Adelaide on Sunday 1 February 2004, and at Stirling North Pichi Richi Railway's Afghan Express joined it to run alongside it into Port Augusta.

To commemorate this historic event, PRR's train carried vintage motor vehicles—making it something representative of a 1920s or 1930s Ghan.

The Transcontinental railway was commenced in Port Augusta in 1878, and the original track through the Pichi Richi Pass to Quorn is that used by PRR today. This line was used by the famous Ghan passenger train until 1956.

Construction continued northward in stages, eventually reaching its final terminus of Alice Springs in 1929.

A narrow gauge railway also extended south from Darwin to Birdum.

A new standard gauge railway replaced the Alice Springs narrow gauge line in 1980, however the "missing link" remained until this year.