The MVHR News
In mid 2016, the Gympie regional council announced a $65 annual levy on all 28800 households, to go towards the restart of the Valley Rattler.

There was to be an upfront payment of $250,000 with income from the levy to go into a fund to eventually total $3.8m

There was also a business plan announced, which drew some criticism for supposedly failing to address the shortcoming of the last rattler that caused it to derail.

Specifically the criticisms seem to centre around too high ridership expectations, the high cost of employing ten to fifteen full time staff, and reinstatement of a shortened line to Amamoor, amongst other issues said to make the plan unsustainable in the long term.

Various articles in the Gympie times and elsewhere refer to a business plan with the council website having a staff only link to the plan. A google search does not show any public links to the business plan.

The mvhr website indicates that staff will regain access to the site next week, (Feb 6, presumably) to begin clean-up and initial restoration works of the workshop and preliminary mechanical works to gauge the extent and cost of work needed. But little else is to be found online.

Is there anyone out there willing and able to comment?
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20 February 2017

https://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/opin...k/3145851/

IT LOOKS like there may be some light at the end of the dark tunnel after all for our Mary Valley Rattler.
It has been lying in disrepair in Gympie's old station for nearly four years now, but news from the State Government yesterday could be the lifeline it needs to get back on the track.

A much-needed $4.7 million has been allocated for the revitalisation of the railway as part of a $200 million state-wide program.

It couldn't have come a better time either - with so many looking for work, the return of a local icon, tourist magnet and job creator can only be a boost to a struggling economy.

For many, including the Gympie council, facilitating the return of the Rattler has been economically difficult.

Not for a lack of trying, though. The sheer magnitude and cost of the task led to a number of fundraising efforts, including the controversial economic development levy Gympie citizens weren't too pleased to discover in their rates notice.

This is more than the State Government throwing some cash our way - it shows how confident they are in Gympie being able to revive a once viable, thriving industry.

And when you have a region with a history this rich, isn't it fitting we're looking to our past to head into the future?
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Newsletter issued today, 17th July

Mary Valley Rattler e-News Update

Construction work is well and truly underway on the Mary Valley Rattler revitalisation project. We are progressing in so many areas from the workshop to the tracks and bridges as well the operational components such as reservations and booking systems. 

A new billboard has gone up in the region (see if you can spot it!) and we have just launched our new #backontrack promotional video.  Thanks to everyone involved, it was a great day out and about in the region filming the video. The community support for this project is overwhelming and we thank each and every person that is helping in every way. 

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WATCH VIDEO HERE - Come on everybody! We're #Backontrack!

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Works Update

There’s currently a big focus on construction particularly the train carriages, locomotive, boiler and the Old Gympie Station platform and buildings.  

In line with Australian Safety Standards, some of the carriages have had windows replaced with safety glass and others have had upholstery repaired, been thoroughly cleaned and are in the process of being repainted in keeping with the authentic look and feel of original steam trains.

We have awarded a contractor to manufacture a new boiler for the steam locomotive and we have a submission with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to refurbish the station buildings which includes: a refurbished cafe and restaurant area, creation of retail areas available for lease, provision for a reception area, a tourist gift shop and visitor centre, lighting, level entry boarding, passenger information displays and seating upgrades.

Construction is underway to improve the carpark at the Gympie Station. Resurfacing works have been completed and line marking will soon take place to provide car parking spaces. The works will also include a new platform access from the car park to ensure the building is fully accessible to all.  New lighting, CCTV and signage will be installed in the coming months. 

To enhance the tourism experience, the old Gympie Station buildings will be fully painted on the interior and exterior and the grounds immediately surrounding the platform landscaped.  The new and invigorated Gympie Station will reflect the past while providing a contemporary visitor destination.

Some of you may have noticed a few extra contractors in the rail corridor recently. The tenders are in for the track and structures restoration and the construction company will be announced shortly. We expect work to commence in early August.   


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Tourism 

In conjunction with Visit Gympie Region, we have started working with tourism organisations such as Tourism Noosa and Visit Sunshine Coast to ensure the industry is aware of the return of the Mary Valley Rattler.  We are working on enhancing the tourism experience through collaboration with local tourism operators and together highlighting all the wonderful aspects the Gympie region has to offer. 

Mary Valley Country held a tourism operators information evening recently where our General Manager Peter Blashki spoke, along with Andrew Fairbairn From Tourism Sunshine Coast, and Andrew Saunders from Visit Gympie Region.  Thanks to everyone that came along, we are thrilled to be working with you all; it was a great evening full of information about the Mary Valley Rattler and tourism overall in the region.  

Once revitalised, the Mary Valley Rattler is anticipated to travel twice daily on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays and will be able to carry up to three hundred passengers.  It will also have an exciting promotions calendar and be available for conferences, events, and special celebrations.  


We are now finalising our calendar and plan to attend major tourism trade shows alongside Visit Gympie Region and further showcase our region with a new attraction.   


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Volunteers
 

If you want to be a part of the new and exciting revitalised Mary Valley Rattler, then we want to hear from you!

We welcome and value anyone that has previously volunteered or considers this something new and exciting to be a part of.  Currently we are looking for painters and carpenters in the workshop to assist with the restoration of the rolling stock.  Keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we call for customer service volunteers to work on steam train operation days, meeting and greeting the tourists that will visit Gympie and the Mary Valley.
 
Please visit www.maryvalleyrattler.com.au/volunteers to register your interest.

Don’t forget to share this with your friends and family!

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