At various times, Curtis has travelled through the center of Australia from Mt Isa to Adelaide. It is a hot, dry, unforgiving environment and in remote places there are the material remains of abandoned enterprises. One such is the original Ghan railway connecting Adelaide to Alice Springs. It started in 1878 and a part of the line ran alongside Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre). Its earliest locomotives were steam-powered and required fresh water. The ruins of water tanks, desalination towers and railway stations can still be found along the old route.