Rattler company vows train will boost tourism in Mary Valley
THE Rattler Railway Company has signalled it will "work closely” with the Gympie region's leading tourism partners to ensure the train's return benefits the wider Mary Valley.
Numerous Amamoor residents and business owners voiced concerns regarding "too short” 30-minute stopovers and a lack of community consultation in planning for benefits to the local economy before and since the Rattler returned last month.
"In terms of our shop we're seeing a slight increase in people coming in and showing interest, but with the time the train is here it presents about a 10-minute window of trade,” Amamoor General Store and Post Office owner Mark Podberscek said earlier this week.
"It's certainly a limiting factor in what we can do; it's just too short.”
Amamoor Homestead owner Ken Groth said he was worried about a "lack of activity and tourism packages” on offer to attract visitors to stay in the town.
A RRC spokesman said the company was "committed to ensuring the Rattler helps attract visitors to the whole region”.
"Our timetable was developed in collaboration with stakeholders, while also taking into consideration strict rail safety laws and accreditation guidelines that ensure the safety of our volunteer drivers, crew and our guests.
"Currently, guests can join the train for their return journey at Gympie or Amamoor, and the return journey from Amamoor departing at 11am and returning at 3pm is also proving very popular. It offers guests the opportunity to explore the Mary Valley before and after their rail experience.
"As part of continuing collaboration, now the trains are once again operational, we are already discussing with coach and tour operators ways that we can work together so that they can explore the region while also including our rail experience, which will continue to provide economic development.
"We continue to work closely with Destination Gympie Region, Visit Sunshine Coast, Tourism Noosa and other key tourism partners to ensure we are meeting the demands of the tourism market and invite local businesses to contact us with feedback or ideas to enhance the experience for our guests.”