An Australian TV show about a three hour long silent train trip may sound boring, but thousands of people are absolutely mesmerised by it, reports Ally Foster for

A three-hour long, mostly silent show about a train trip should be the most boring thing on television, but thousands of Aussies have become absolutely mesmerised by it.

If you flicked over to SBS on Sunday night you might have caught a glimpse of the station's new show called The Ghan: Australia's Greatest Train Journey.

The program follows the journey of Australia's most iconic passenger train, The Ghan, as it travels from Adelaide to Darwin via Alice Springs.


The 54-hour journey is condensed into a three-hour show, which has no dialogue, music or breaks, just the sounds of the train moving through the Australian outback.

It might sound like the least interesting program in the world, but the 400,000 viewers that sat down and watched the whole thing would disagree.

The Ghan ran from 7.30pm to 10.30pm on SBS TV, along with being streamed live across SBS On Demand and the SBS Facebook page.

According to OzTAM's preliminary ratings, the first leg of the journey was watched by 436,000 people, the second leg was watched by 406,000 and the third by 392,000.

It is described as Australia's "first foray into the 'Slow TV' movement", which is used to describe a genre of television that covers an ordinary event in its complete length.

The concept was drawn from Andy Warhol's 1963 film Sleep, a five hour movie of poet John Giorno sleeping, with 'Slow TV' being popularised in the 2000 by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) as they began to air multiple programs of this nature.

"This is an immersive journey on Australia's most iconic railway that reveals — in real time — the stunning topographical vistas and dramatic palette changes from Adelaide to Darwin, while unpacking our indigenous, multicultural and social history in the most surprising way," reads SBS On Demand's synopsis.

Filming a train for a few days might not seem like hard work but SBS revealed that months of planning went into the documentary to ensure the best possible product was created.

Cutting the footage down to three hours was reportedly so difficult that they also made a 17-hour version, which people are now desperate to see.

NZ viewers will have to wait to watch SBS's slow motion epic or else cough up AU$3000 for expedition tickets. If that is a bit out of your budget NZ Netflix is airing a rival collection of Norwegian Slow TV, including Train Ride: Bergen to Oslo.