One stop dropped from new Rattler timetable
THE Mary Valley Rattler's days at Dagun are numbered, with the tourist trip to drop the stop in favour of more time at Amamoor next month.
The changes are to start on February 14 and come on the back of what Rattler Railway Company chairman Ian McNicol said was mutual agreement.
Mr McNicol said volunteer issues and a feeling that the wine and cheese tasting was not suitable for families were key parts of the decision.
Time was another factor in the timetable change.
"Guests have said they want more time at Amamoor to explore as well as watching the train turn.
"Some of our older guests and those with a disability have also said more time would make it easier for them.
"They love the rail experience, having the opportunity to see the Mary Valley from the train and the experience at Gympie station, but they want more time at Amamoor,” he said.
Driver management would also get a boost from the change.
"Many of our volunteer drivers travel from as far away as Brisbane, Toowoomba and Rockhampton so its important for us to manage our rosters to ensure they don't get fatigued.”
It comes on the heels of what Mr McNicol said was as bumper holiday season, with more than 3000 guests riding the train last month, bringing the total number of passengers to more than 7000 since it fired up in October.
"The number of services we operated in December was up 30 per cent, accounting for more than 40 per cent of passengers over the three months,” he said.
"This is an excellent result and we want to maintain this momentum.”
In addition to the scheduled services, additional services such as Retro Fridays and Twilight Trains for special events such as the Aussie Express on Friday, January 25 would continue.
"Our Christmas Twilight Train was a sell out and a huge success and we look forward to working with the Friends of Amamoor to deliver the Aussie Express and other additional services like it throughout 2019,” Mr McNicol said.