Finally: The Rattler's rolling once again
MARY Valley Heritage Rail president Tony Hallam admits it was not easy.
But yesterday he handed ownership of MVHR assets to new owner, the Rattler Railway Company.
And is everybody happy?
"Oh yes," he said.
But addressing the concerns of MVHR members and volunteers had taken time - months, in fact.
"There was a complexity of issues needing to be identified and discussed," he said at the Old Gympie Railway Station.
"This is a big event," he said, after publicly signing over the assets - leases, spare parts, engines, rolling stock and tools - which the company will need.
MP David Gibson signed on behalf of the Queensland Government, while Infrastructure Department director general of major projects, Stuart Pickering, looked on, as did Rattler company chairman Paul Barnaby, secretary Gaylene Smith and director Garry Davison.
"This is a significant milestone in the rebooting of the Rattler," Mr Gibson said.
The next milestone would be "getting the track up to standard so we can see the Rattler running from Gympie back into the Mary Valley."
And yes, he said, he believed that would eventually mean running all the way to Imbil.
But that would still be some distance "down the track," he said.
Recently discussed development of foot and bike paths on "unused railway land" in the Valley would be in the other section of the former government railway line, from Imbil to Brooloo.
"By 2015, I hope we will see a fully scheduled regular operation in place.
"The MVHR needed funding and today's agreement allows that funding to be provided," he said.
He described as "a significant event" the signing of hand-over documents by the three bodies - MVHR, the Rattler company and the state Infrastructure Department.