The historic Gympie Railway Station will be the place to be this Saturday, as the Mary Valley Rattler celebrates its First Run Day with a very special inaugural return trip to Amamoor via Dagun on the historic railway, alongside a fun-filled day of activities and entertainment.
Doors open to the free event at the station on Tozer Street at 8am for what promises to be an unforgettable start to the iconic railway’s welcome return to regular services.
Tickets for Saturday’s First Run Day are close to selling out so if you want to be on the historic first train, buy your tickets now. While you are at the station enjoying the festivities, you can also book future trips or jump online and book at maryvalleyrattler.com.au.
Highlights of the packed day-long program include musical performances from X-Factor contestant Caitlyn Shadbolt to a classical harpist, a live broadcast and giveaways from local radio station Zinc FM and a slew of children’s entertainers.
Mary Valley Rattler Chairman Ian McNicol said the First Run Day will provide visitors to the beloved tourism attraction an opportunity to share firsthand in the fun and excitement of the train’s first official outing.
“First Run Day will be a festival like no other, not in the least because the Mary Valley Rattler is a unique and iconic drawcard,” Mr McNicol said.
“It’s a day to showcase 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.”
The First Run Day train will arrive at the station at 9am and ticket holders will begin boarding soon after, with Gympie Regional Council Mayor Mick Curran ringing the bell and calling for ‘All Aboard’ just before the 9.30am departure of the 3-hour round trip through the scenic Mary Valley.
On the special opening journey of the Rattler there’ll be on-board entertainment from a string quartet, a magician and comedic acts as well as performances on the platforms of the Amamoor and Dagun Stations, during the half-hour stops.
The Amamoor community are celebrating the Rattler’s arrival at its station at with a family fun day between 9.30-2pm including food trucks, market stalls, a jumping castle, commemorative photo booth and live music from Alison Jenson.
In a salute to the high-quality produce the Mary Valley has become renowned for, wine and cheese tasting will be available for passengers on the platform at Dagun Station on the return leg of the trip.
Throughout the day, visitors to the beautifully refurbished historic Gympie Railway station will continue to be entertained by singer Ethan Roberts, historical performers, face painters, balloon artists and a photo booth before the Mary Valley Rattler returns from its milestone First Run just after lunchtime.
A wide range of fare is available for purchase from the cafe and a coffee cart will be operating from early to late at Gympie Station.
At 12.30pm, former X-Factor contestant Caitlyn Shadbolt will perform, remaining on the platform following her hour-long set to meet with visitors and sign autographs, while The Dennis Sisters will keep the crowds entertained into the late afternoon.
From Sunday 7th October, 2018, morning and afternoon services on the Mary Valley Rattler will run three days per week on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays for a return journey from the historic Gympie or Amamoor stations via Dagun.
The Mary Valley Rattler operate a fleet of heritage locomotives and carriages, each with their own unique story.
After many years of extensive upgrades to century-old track work and its fleet of historic locomotives and carriages, Mary Valley Rattler Board Member Garry Davison said the importance of the Rattler as a drawcard to the region could not be underestimated.
“This is a unique asset which very much belongs to the people of Gympie and the Mary Valley, and one which we can all be proud to call our own,” Mr Davison said.
“We thank Gympie Regional Council, the tireless work of our volunteers, and especially the community, who have all worked to get the Rattler back on track and give our region a world-class tourist attraction.”
With a half-hour stop at each station at both Amamoor and Dagun, Mary Valley Rattler passengers can rediscover the magic of a bygone era with a rail journey through one of the most beautiful parts of Queensland.
Dotted with quaint country towns and known for its high-quality produce, the scenic Mary Valley is home to descendants of the original pioneers of the area and is an ideal place to experience the friendly laidback atmosphere of rural living at its best.
It’s a fun, half day adventure suitable for the whole family and a trip you’ll want to take again and again.
Gympie Regional Council residents and ratepayers can also take advantage of an exclusive membership program, Rattler Mates, to access discounted ticket fares and other special offers. For more information on Rattler Mates, head to maryvalleyrattler.com.au/rattlermates.
For more information, ticket purchases and departure times visit maryvalleyrattler.com.au or call the Mary Valley Rattler on 07 5482 2750.