The first female over the line of the Race the Rattler foot race in 2008 was Helen Stanton. Competitors are happy this year’s race is still on.
The first female over the line of the Race the Rattler foot race in 2008 was Helen Stanton. Competitors are happy this year’s race is still on. Craig Warhurst

Full steam ahead for Rattler

MVHR has been given the go-ahead to hold the 13th annual Race the Rattler foot race on June 13.

After Wednesday’s safety assessment of the Mary Valley Heritage Railway track by Queensland Transport, the tourist train track has been given the all-clear to continue operation.

Claims the track was unsafe and a danger to the public have been quashed by an inspector from QT’s Rail Safety Unit, however a number of works were identified that do need to be undertaken.

But the defects are minor and considered non-safety-critical, a QT spokesman said.

“The railway is expected to be operational this weekend,” he said.

Passengers on Wednesday’s Valley Rattler ride were unconcerned about the controversy surrounding the accusations the track had many weak links and was “an accident waiting to happen”.

As one blogger aptly put it to the people making these wild claims: “The trouble with hijacking things like MVHR is that these things don’t function at all without goodwill. And the concept of goodwill appears to have escaped (these accusers) entirely.”

MVHR came under fire early this week after a series of photographs were sent to local and national media in an effort to prove the track was dangerous.

MVHR manager Jim Walker had remained confident the track was up to safety standards and was proven right after the assessment by the expert in track maintenance and safety.

He said this latest challenge was tough to bear after flooding and extended rain earlier in the year kept visitors away. Business had just started to pick up when this hit and he hoped it would not deter tourists.

Gympie Times


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