The MVHR “Rattler” remains off the rails this weekend, despite business hopes for a quick return to tourism hospitality in the Mary Valley.
The MVHR “Rattler” remains off the rails this weekend, despite business hopes for a quick return to tourism hospitality in the Mary Valley. Craig Warhurst

MVHR back on track soon

ONE more weekend without the Mary Valley Heritage Rail's tourist steam train will be just about as much financial starvation as the Valley and its famous rail service can stand.

But it is all in the interests of a thorough check to ensure public safety, MVHR secretary Jim Walker said yesterday.

Mr Walker said an independent consultant had been hired to look at the tracks, following a minor derailment on a non-passenger rail siding at MVHR headquarters on June 28.

Mr Walker said at the time the accident had happened in the railway yards just after the C17 steam engine had been pushed to get coal by a diesel engine.

After the steam engine was loaded with coal, the steam train slid off the rails when the tracks spread.

"It's not good timing," he said yesterday. "We were making money.

"We lost last weekend and we'll lose this weekend.

"But all going well, we expect to be back on the track by Wednesday," he said.

"We'll know for sure on Tuesday afternoon."

Mary Valley businesses will be waiting anxiously for that news, according to Imbil's Railway Hotel manager Symon Duggan.

"Sunday and Wednesday are big days in the Valley," he said yesterday.

"The effect on the business economy of the community as a whole is huge for the weekend tourist trade and Wednesday as well.

"A lot of the smaller businesses really depend on it. It's a cheerful thing as well.

"It's socially important, it really is.

"It's one of the joys of living out here".

Mary Valley Country Marketing chairwoman Julie Worth said the Rattler was economically precious to the Valley.

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