The Valley Rattler Steam Train.
The Valley Rattler Steam Train. Eric Taylor

OPINION: Rattler rush could be making things worse

THE Mary Valley Rattler is a unique icon for the region.

But is the council's rush to get it back on track helping?

There is now less than four months to get the rail work finished, and it's fair to wonder what effect this tight time frame is having on the project and the community.

Along with reports Rail Futures was involved in training jobseekers for work before the tender was awarded, CR Rail was also advertising for workers at least two weeks before winning the contract.

That's two companies apparently jumping the gun, and one can't help but wonder what drove them to spend money looking for employees on a job they did not yet have?

RELATED: Sinkholes, corrosion: report reveals extent of Rattler work

Then there's the cost of the replacement train which will be leased for 18 months, as the original engine won't be ready until March 2018 at the earliest.

How much money could have been saved here with a longer time frame?

And money is the key, because the deteriorating track conditions could mean returning it to Imbil in the future (which may be necessary) will cost the same as what we're paying now.

Certainly the Rattler would be a welcome sight in the region, but ratepayers have at least 3.8 million, sorry, now 5.4 million reasons to demand this does not become a disaster - because they, not the council, are footing the bill.

Gympie Times


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