The surprise departure of general manager Lisa Raklander has left the The Rattler Railway Company again single and ready to mingle.
The surprise departure of general manager Lisa Raklander has left the The Rattler Railway Company again single and ready to mingle.

GM EXITS: Rattler still looking for its perfect match

ANOTHER Mary Valley Rattler general manager has departed before the train reaches its destination.

Lisa Raklander is gone after less than five months in the job, forcing the Rattler Railway Company to go on the hunt for its third GM in less than a year.

The surprise departure comes at a time when the troubled train is on the cusp of returning to the tracks, and while a Rattler spokeswoman confirmed Ms Raklander's departure few details were provided.

"Lisa Raklander finished her position as general manager at the Rattler Railway Company on Friday,” she said.

Jondaryan Woolshed general manger Lisa Raklander is keen to promote the region with Tourism and Events Queensland's Best of Queensland Experiences marketing initiative, Monday, October 9, 2017.
Lisa Raklander. Kevin Farmer

"The Rattler Railway Company appreciates the planning and efforts of Lisa Raklander to date and we thank her and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”

Ms Raklander was appointed on April 30 after a four-month hunt to replace Peter Blashki, who quit in late December last year.

At the time, Rattler vice-chairman Garry Davison denied Mr Blashki was pushed from the job.

He said that Mr Blashki's goal was to get the train up and running, and when he departed it was expected to be running by May this year at a cost of $14.5 million.

Since then the cost has blown out by $3 million and the train's return was delayed indefinitely, although it is believed that it will once again be steaming back into the Mary Valley by the end of this month.

Ms Raklander was appointed shortly after the final price tag of $17.5 million was announced by Gympie Regional Council.

The Rattler spokeswoman said her departure would not disrupt getting the train back on track on schedule.

The Mary Valley Rattler has made its first return run to Amamoor with a steam engine.
TURN, TURN, TURN: Lisa Raklander departs as general manager of the Mary Valley Rattler after less than five months in the role. LEEROY TODD

"The Rattler team, led by our board, continue to work on the return of heritage rail services in the Mary Valley, scheduled to commence shortly,” she said.

Ms Raklander's experience in business management and marketing was heralded by the RRC when she was hired.

The company said that before her run at the Woolshed, she owned and operated two other hospitality businesses, and that her connections in the region played a role in her hopping on board.

"Lisa and her husband have family in the region and are looking forward to settling into the local community,” she said.

It is unknown how much Ms Raklander and Mr Blashki were paid for their time in the top job.