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Mary Valley Rattler celebrates 140th

August 2, 2021 Attraction No Comments

140 years ago ‘green and gold’ was more literal – you had to get through the Mary Valley’s green hills to get to the gold of the Gympie goldfields.

The pot of gold may have diminished over time, but not the attraction of the 140 years of history that lies beneath the Mary Valley Rattler as the steam engine traverses across the Valley from its base at Gympie station.

For this 140th anniversary, a special picnic train is being organised, departing Gympie Station at 10am on 7 August and returning to Gympie at 1pm. Passengers will have the opportunity to indulge in a delicious picnic basket as they travel through the Mary Valley or in the leafy surrounds of Amamoor Station, returning to Gympie Station at 1pm.

Classic Rattler tickets are just $65 for the three hour trip back in time with the option to add-on a picnic hamper. Children’s tickets are $35, and a family ticket comprising two adults and two children is available for $175.

The celebrations will include an open day at Gympie Station, with everyone welcome to come and view the Mary Valley Rattler fleet and heritage station.

The Mary Valley Rattler fleet is made up of heritage steam locomotives and carriages, each with their own unique story. The fleet also boasts vintage railmotors and diesel locomotives.

The historic Gympie Station on Tozer St, has been restored to its former glory. Passengers are encouraged to arrive early enough to take time to wander through the Station and learn the stories of the Mary Valley Rattler line, its people and its history. Presentations about the history of the line are starting from 8:30am.

Passengers can have a chat with the train drivers and the tour guides before they board the train, where they can discover the romance of the railway through the scenic Mary Valley.

The journey crosses the Mary River travelling over bridges and through numerous gentle hills before arriving at the historic village of Amamoor, where passengers can watch the fascinating process of the turning of the engine on the turntable.

In addition to the cafés and local shop offerings in Gympie and Amamoor, a trolley with light refreshments and snacks will be make its way through the carriages for on-board purchases.

Premium Service is available for $125 per passenger and includes: priority pre boarding, assigned seating, morning tea, lunch at the Rusty Rails Cafe, including a beverage of choice with meal, bottle of water. Kids Activity Pack also included with child fare.

Announcing the special 140th anniversary service, General Manager of the Mary Valley Rattler, Micheal Green, said that the event would put the spotlight on one of the Gympie community’s most significant historical assets.

“As a community, not-for-profit organisation, the 140th anniversary celebration will be as much about our volunteers who have been the inspiration behind the railway since it ended as a commuter service and began as a tourist steam train in May 1998,” said Mr Green.

“From the earliest days, the Rattler was all about connecting the Gympie region to the outside world, where as today the Rattler enables visitors from around Australia and the world to experience the beauty of the Mary Valley from the comfort of our character-filled fleet of steam and locomotive trains.

“Of course, the Rattler started as a result of the Gympie gold rush, but today our passengers see the real gold in the green of the Valley.

“We will have the whole fleet out for passengers to view, so we urge visitors to come along on Saturday the 7th and take a leisurely trip back in history.”

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