The Mary Valley Rattler is out of commission only 15 years after it began taking tourists from the Sunshine Coast to Gympie, Queensland due to safety issues.
A minor derailment in September 2012 highlighted enough problems to delay services well past the reinstatement date of 2nd November 2012. General Manager Jim Walker said on 6th November that services ‘certainly won’t resume before Christmas’.
From the Herald Sun:
A RIDE on the Mary Valley Rattler could soon fade into history unless funds can be found for a major safety upgrade.
The steam train, a hit with tourists for the past 14 years, has been off the rails since a derailment in September.
Transport and Main Roads safety regulators yesterday advised the Mary Valley Heritage Railway group that a suspension of passenger operations would continue.
Railway general manager Jim Walker said the regulator advised the recent incident highlighted a number of issues that would need to be addressed before services could resume.
“This includes inspection and maintenance procedures for vehicles and track, and resources for track upgrades,” he said.
“We are forwarding the advice to management committee members, and at the same time taking up the offer from the regulator to meet to clarify issues and expectations.
“We are aware of the keen public interest in the future of the Rattler and will keep everyone updated.”
The Valley Rattler had been operating since 1998, taking tourists from Gympie to Imbil or Amamoor, giving them a feel of travel in the area’s golden era.
The State Government and Gympie Regional Council have both ruled out pitching in funds to get the drawcard back on track.