Still rattling 12 years on
CELEBRATING its 12th birthday at the weekend, the Mary Valley Heritage Railway has come a long way since its first run to Imbil.
On the initial run back on 23 May 1998 the railway had one steam locomotive and four carriages.
With no turntable at Imbil the locomotive had to return to Gympie tender first.
The Rattler originally started off with one service a week.
The Rattler now operates two steam trains a week to Imbil every Wednesday and Sunday, two to Amamoor every Saturday and the Red Rocket Railmotor every Tuesday to Amamoor.
The Rattler also offers special theme trains such as the Wild Wild West, Pirates of the Valley, and the Wizards Express, plus many more charter trains.
Now the railway has 10 operational railway carriages with more in the workshops awaiting renovation.
There are two operational steam locomotives and more in the workshops being renovated.
The 41kms of track and five stations to Imbil are constantly being maintained by a professional track gang of three and four workshops staff of engineers, fitters and carpenters making sure the trains are able to operate to schedule each week.
In the office four staff make sure passengers are booked onto the trains and that the railway operates smoothly.
The staff are assisted by many volunteers who help in every aspect of the railway.
All operators on a running day train crew, on-board services, and the re-enactment group are volunteers.
It is easy to see why The Valley Rattler is a major tourist attraction for the Gympie/Mary Valley region.
The Rattler’s success is credited to everyone working together as a special “railway family”.