Long associated with the romance of a bygone era, the Mary Valley Rattler will celebrate this year’s Valentine’s Day with the launch of an ongoing new lunchtime service, The Rattler Picnic Train, on Thursday 14th of February.
Powered by the ‘Red Rocket’, one of the first railmotors introduced onto the Mary Valley line, The Rattler Picnic Train will leave historic Gympie station every Thursday at 11am, on a return 3-hour journey to Amamoor, with gourmet picnic hampers filled with local delicacies also available.
Mary Valley Rattler Chairman Ian McNicol said The Rattler Picnic Train is an excellent opportunity for visitors to sample the many delights the region has to offer.
“More than just a heritage railway, the Mary Valley Rattler is a way to experience some of the fine produce grown locally, the charm of country towns like Amamoor, and our historic railway stations, which are amongst the best examples of their kind in Queensland,” Mr McNicol said.
“To be able to launch this new service on Valentine’s Day is very special – The Rattler Picnic Train is as much about our love of the Mary Valley as it is a charming way to share a beautiful day out with treasured friends and family.
“A lunch-time journey, we invite passengers on The Rattler Picnic Train to pre-purchase a picnic hamper to collect at the Platform No. 1 Café to enjoy on board and at Amamoor, filled with classic picnic food and even some bubbles.”
Along with the Azahara Brut Piccolo, some of the region’s famous goods including Kenilworth Dairies cheese is included in the picnic hamper, along with rosemary and oat biscuits, marinated olives, a Rhodavale ham & Kenilworth Red Leicester cheese baguette, a muffin of the day served with butter and a 600ml bottle of spring water.
Scheduled to leave historic Gympie Station at 11am, The Rattler Picnic Train will arrive at Amamoor station at midday, where passengers will spend a relaxing hour picnicking in the parkland of the quaint country town before returning to Gympie at 2pm.
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.
Known as the ‘Red Rocket’, the RM76 is an excellent example of the first type of railmotor used as a passenger service on the Mary Valley line in 1928, a rugged and reliable machine which continued in service until the early 1960’s.
Also of historical significance is the original Gympie Station on Tozer Street, now the headquarters of the Mary Valley Rattler it is reputedly the largest timber railway building owned by Queensland Rail during the 20th century and arguably one of the most stylish and elaborate in the context of timber railway architecture.
Along with a gift shop and a historical display, the Gympie Station is home to Platform No.1 Café offering dine in or takeaway options to enjoy aboard one of the Rattler’s lovingly restored heritage trains as it winds through 46-km of breathtaking scenery.
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, rainforests and endless rolling hills.
Alongside the introduction of The Rattler Picnic Train on Thursdays, regular morning and afternoon services on the Mary Valley Rattler continue to run three days per week on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays on a return journey from the historic Gympie or Amamoor stations.
Restroom facilities and refreshments are available at stations.
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.
It’s a magical trip into living history and one passengers will want to take again and again.
For more information on The Rattler Picnic Train and other services, as well as ticket purchases and departure times visit maryvalleyrattler.com.au or call the Mary Valley Rattler on 07 5482 2750.
THE RATTLER PICNIC TRAIN KEY DETAILS:
FIRST DEPARTURE: Thursday, 14th February, 2019
SCHEDULE: Weekly on a Thursday
COST: $55 adult, $45 concession, $30 child, $145 family
PICNIC HAMPERS: $25 per person, optional at time of booking