The Mary Valley ‘Rattler’ is back

One of Queensland’s most-loved tourist attractions, the Mary Valley Rattler is again chugging and steaming its way through the stunning Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The beloved train has been out of action for a few years, with extensive upgrades to existing track work and improvements to the fleet of historic steam and diesel locomotives and carriages taking place during this time.

The heritage railway experience has been relaunched after an almost seven-year hiatus. At its peak, the Valley Rattler, as it was then known, played host to upwards of 30,000 passengers annually.

Morning and afternoon services on the Mary Valley Rattler will now run three days per week on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays for a return journey from the historic Gympie or Amamoor stations via Dagun.

Reputed to be the largest timber railway building owned by Queensland Rail during the 20th century, the historic Gympie station is the headquarters of the Mary Valley Rattler and arguably one of the most stylish and elaborate in the context of timber railway architecture.

The station features a gift shop and historical display, as well as Platform No.1 Café, which offers dine-in or takeaway options. Passengers can pick up a wine and cheese platter featuring the best regional produce to enjoy aboard one of the Rattler’s lovingly restored heritage carriages as it winds through 46km of breathtaking Mary Valley scenery.

The valley is dotted with quaint country villages and is known for its high-quality produce, dairies, small produce farms, rainforests and endless rolling hills; and is home to the descendants of the original pioneers.

A half hour stop at the beautifully restored stations at Amamoor and Dagun is an ideal way to experience the laidback welcome atmosphere of rural living at its best.

“The half-day return journey really is a showcase of all the different elements the Rattler has to offer: a heritage railway experience; our historic railway stations, which are amongst the best examples of their kind in Queensland; our Platform No.1 Café and event space; the rich mining history of the area; and the fine produce of the region,” said Mary Valley Rattler Chairman Ian McNicol.

“We are absolutely delighted to see the Mary Valley Rattler back on track. It’s a huge achievement for everyone involved and we are looking forward to sharing the experience with as many people as possible.”

Schedule: Twice daily on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays

Cost: Free admission to stations, Rattler tickets: adult: $55, concession: $45, child (four to 12) $30, family (2 adults, 2 children): $145

For full details, ticket purchases and departure times, visit www.maryvalleyrattler.com.au or call the Mary Valley Rattler on 07 5482 2750.

Have you been on the Rattler? Would you recommend this rail journey to our members?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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