by Letter to the Editor
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
THE Rattler has not been running to and from the Mary Valley for a number of years but when it was a regular trip my wife got us to travel on it three times and it was interesting.
My wife loved it so much so that she conned two other couples to accompany us. The second trip we had saloon car seats and a few drinks. The last time we booked these but it (saloon car) had been vandalised in Gympie and didn't run.
On a score of 1 to 10, for me the first trip was a seven and the second a five and the third scored a two (no saloon car).
So I'm not a big fan.
After all kinds of rumours and predictions and promises it seems that the Rattler may run again.
The main reason that it went out of business was that it was not making a profit, despite the amateurish efforts of well meaning volunteers.
It used to make a brief stop at Amamoor on the way out - not sure why. Then a longer stop at Kandanga where they sold luke warm sausage rolls, over-priced costume jewellery and teddy bears and dolls. Oh and "stop the dam," but that's all over I think.
On to Imbil. The hotel, brilliantly called the Railway, provided an upstairs lunch, there were a couple of cafes and sometimes there was a mock-up bank robbery. You would not need to be the Australian Treasurer to work out who made money.
On the way back it stopped at Dagun (don't blink) where wine tasting and buying was available. I don't know of any local wineries but the wine was drinkable, I had a free taste but grossly over priced.
Then back to Gympie - yawn!
Large amounts of money have been mentioned to get it going again. Somebody smarter than me (I'll leave that alone if you will) once said or wrote, that repeating something that's a failure and expecting a different result is a definition of insanity.
You may assume that I regard the Rattler as a "shot duck” (dead) - wrong - just wounded.
There's a lot of valuable material there, locomotives, rolling stock, railway tracks, stations, real estate.
There will shortly be a brand new, modern, luxury hotel and restaurant at Kandanga which will be a major attraction. A bit of imagination and innovation at the various railway stations is needed.
A bus to run in conjunction with the train - details to be worked out.
Wait and see.