Mary Valley Heritage Rail volunteers Nev Caldwell (left) and Fred Kruik (right) with sponsor Russell Brown of Positive Batteries.
Mary Valley Heritage Rail volunteers Nev Caldwell (left) and Fred Kruik (right) with sponsor Russell Brown of Positive Batteries. David Crossley

Sponsor recharges locomotive

VALLEY Rattler steam train volunteers are celebrating the return to service of the 60-tonne diesel locomotive 1632.

Mary Valley Heritage Rail (MVHR) manager Jim Walker welcomed a substantial sponsorship in the form of a set of new batteries from Russell Brown of Positive Batteries in Mellor Street.

The diesel requires two pallets of batteries to be able to kick over the 960 HP diesel engine.

“We had been mixing and matching cells from second hand batteries, but they simply were no longer able to do the job,” Mr Walker said.

“Looking at a substantial five-figure sum for replacement, Russell was able to come up with a very much reduced figure which enabled us to proceed.”

Mr Walker said the diesel was used for shunting and for fire trains down the Mary Valley.

“It’s also our emergency standby engine if we have a failure with a passenger train, so it is a very welcome return to service for operations management,” he said.

“Rattler workshop staff led by volunteer Bob Eyers had been spending a lot of time and effort nursing the old batteries, so the successful installation is a welcome sight for them.”

The loco was put straight to work with a shunt of carriages and will be in action through the valley with fire trains during the MVHRs control burnoffs in August and September.

Gympie Times


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