Valley Rattler Steam Train
This historic 40 km train journey starts in Gympie, crossing the Mary River then negotiating many curves, gentle hills and bridges to pass through the small country townships of Dagun, Amamoor and Kandanga to Imbil.
Disembark at fully restored and beautifully landscaped historic stations and absorb the atmosphere of the beginning of the 20th century. At Amamoor and Dagun Stations there is wine and cheese tasting along with local produce, arts and crafts.
Journey through the scenic Mary Valley and wind along the steep slopes of the Mary River, taking in the amazing views. It’s a great opportunity to see modern rural life from the seat of a historical train.
History of the Valley Rattler - C 17 No. 802
The completion of the North Coast Line between Brisbane and Cairns in 1924 created the need for more steam locomotives to handle the increased rail traffic.
At that stage the decision to build more of the C 17 class locomotive was taken. The C 17 class of locomotive was a lightweight Queensland design that was suited to the lightweight track and sharp curves of the Queensland Railways.
Weighing in at just over 80 tonnes and with eight driving wheels, the C 17 class became the mainstay of the Queensland Railways steam fleet.
The need for this type of locomotive was so desperate after World War I, that the Queensland Government ordered locomotives from England. These locomotives were shipped to Australia, arriving in 1927, number 802 among them.
Number 802 (the "Valley Rattler" locomotive) worked mainly in the former Maryborough District during its working life. 802 would have worked the Murgon, Gayndah and Monto branches. In its 42 year career with Queensland Railways, the locomotive travelled many miles and was involved in a few incidents.
In the late 1960’s the end of steam locomotives was announced by Queensland Railways and in June of 1969 number 802 was condemned. It was donated to the Roma and District Tourist Association where it would remained for 31 years.
Number 802 was to remain in Roma until 2000, when it was removed by the Mary Valley Heritage Railway to Gympie. The intention was to restore 802 to working order. In 2003 this was achieved by the MVHR and since then it has run continuously and is the steam motive power of the MVHR fleet.
Since then number 802 has continued to be the mainstay and the main attraction for the Mary Valley Heritage Railway. It is amazing to think that a piece of machinery is still performing the work it was designed for over eighty years ago.
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