MVHR unable to provide service to Monkland due to ban
THE suburb of Monkland becomes an island when Gympie floods and historically, residents have relied on the old rail motor to link them to the city.
This year however, Mary Valley Heritage Railway was unable to commence flood services due to the tourism operation being suspended by the Rail Safety Regulator after a derailment in September 2012.
MVHR president Tony Hallam said the organization approached the safety regulator before Christmas in anticipation of a flood event.
"We asked would we can do during a flood and were told the suspension is in place even throughout a flood event," he said.
When asked if MVHR could offer any assistance at all, the Rail Safety Regulator said in no uncertain terms that maintenance and repair vehicles could run but no carry passengers were to be carried on the line.
"We started thinking of this before Christmas, but our hands are tied," Mr Hallam added.
Contact MVHR directly if you see track damage
Tony Hallam has asked for people to contact him directly if they see any track damage, following a report made to a radio station about major flood damage to a section of the line at Kandanga.
The first he heard about it was from ABC News when a concerned Mary Valley resident phoned up and reported track damage.
Part of the track near Kandanga Bowls Club has been undermined by flood water, photos showing the track bowing without support.
"We've heard reports on ABC radio that the track around Kandanga is affected," Mr Hallam said.
"Once the river gets below eight metres and we can run an inspection vehicle over the bridge (across the river), we will do a full track inspection.
"We need to do the inspection see what damage has occurred first and then make an assessment."
As passenger services have been suspended by the Rail Safety Regulator since September 2012 because of a derailment, flood damage to the track is not expected to cause any further disruption in the short-term.
At the very least, basic maintenance and repairs will be carried out to stabilise the flood damaged section of the track, but looking at the big picture, Mr Hallam said it was on a long list of repairs required to get the tourist operation up and running again.
"The first we heard there may have been damage to the track was by a concerned Mary Valley resident that rang ABC," Mr Hallam said.
Anybody who detects damage to the Valley Rattler track or bridges are asked to ring the MVHR office on 5482 2750 or Mr Hallam on 0419 679 447.