Off the back of a very successful December, the Mary Valley Rattler is introducing some changes to its services, allowing more time for guests to spend at Amamoor, and eliminating the stop at Dagun. These changes will take effect from 14th February.
Rattler Railway Company chairman Ian McNichol said with three months of services since the launch on 6th October, it was a good time to review operations and make changes in response to guest feedback and to ensure operational sustainability.
Mr McNichol said more than 3000 guests rode the Rattler in December, bringing the total number of passengers from October to December to over 7000.
“The number of services we operated in December was up 30%, accounting for more than 40% of passengers over the three months.
“This is an excellent result and we want to maintain this momentum.”
Mr McNichol said overwhelmingly the feedback from guests has been great.
“They love the rail experience, having the opportunity to see the Mary Valley from the train and the experience at Gympie station, but they want more time at Amamoor,” Mr McNicol said.
“Guests have said they want more time at Amamoor to explore as well as watching the train turn. Some of our older guests and those with a disability have also said more time would make it easier for them.”
He said following on from discussion between RRC and the Dagun community, who were experiencing volunteer issues, as well as a feeling from some guests that the wine and cheese tasting wasn’t suitable for families.
Mr McNicol said the changes would also assist with management of driver hours for the Rattler’s volunteers.
“Many of our volunteer drivers travel from as far away as Brisbane, Toowoomba and Rockhampton so its important for us to manage our rosters to ensure they don’t get fatigued.
In addition to the scheduled services, additional services such as Retro Friday’s and Twilight Trains for special events such as the Aussie Express on 25th January would continue.
“Our Christmas Twilight Train was a sell out and a huge success and we look forward to working with the Friends of Amamoor to deliver the Aussie Express and other additional services like it throughout 2019.
Dotted with quaint country villages and known for its high-quality produce, the Mary Valley is a patchwork of grazing properties, dairies, small produce farms and endless rolling hills, and is home to descendants of the original pioneers of the area.
Best known for the annual music muster held nearby, Amamoor is a charming village bordered by a verdant forest reserve home to more than 120 species of bird, waterfalls and great waterholes to cool off in on hot days.
It’s at the Amamoor station, in a fascinating process reminiscent of a bygone era, where the locomotive engines are turned on a restored turntable for the return trip to Gympie.
Mr McNicol said the scenic Mary Valley was looking exceptionally lush, making the gently winding ride through the hinterland especially relaxing at this time of year.
A ride on the Mary Valley Rattler is a fun, half day adventure suitable for the whole family just an hour’s drive north from the Sunshine Coast airport and less than two hours from Brisbane.
For more information on all journeys including services, and to book, visit maryvalleyrattler.com.au or call the Mary Valley Rattler on 07 5482 2750.