The Valley Rattler celebrates 12 years on Sunday 23 May 2010
The Mary Valley Heritage Railway has come a long way since the first run to Imbil back on 23 May 1998.
On the initial run the railway had one steam locomotive and four carriages. With no turntable at Imbil the locomotive had to return to Gympie tender first.
The Valley Rattler originally started off with one service a week. We now operate 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.
In addition we have 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 41 kms 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 4 staff make sure passengers are booked onto the trains and that the railway operates smoothly.
Add to the staff the many volunteers who assist in every aspect of the railway, indeed all on board personel on a running day - the train crew driving the train, "on-board services" and the re-enactment group are all volunteers. It is easy to see why The Valley Rattler is such a success and a major tourist attraction for the Sunshine Coast / Gympie / Mary Valley region.
Why is the railway such a success? Everyone at The Valley Rattler works together as a special "railway family." Every trip passengers congratulate the staff on what a wonderful time they had on the railway and that makes it all so worthwhile.
There are still seats available on the 23rd May for those who would like to ride TheValley Rattler. Contact the Valley Rattler office on 5482 2750 or visit www.thevalleyrattler.com.
Rattler station, Imbil
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