BIG LIFT: The tender being lowered onto the back on an awaiting truck.
BIG LIFT: The tender being lowered onto the back on an awaiting truck. Jacob Carson

Big lift signals big progress for Rattler

IT would have been difficult to miss the enormous lift jutting out of the Rattler restoration site yesterday afternoon,

Working for hours to secure and lift the Mary Valley Rattler's tender, the enormous component was lifted and delicately placed onto an awaiting truck.

Work is steadily progressing on the Valley Rattler project, as crews work towards a December 2017 deadline.

"The tender is basically a large bin which sits behind the main engine," a council spokeswoman said.

"It stores the coal and feeds it into the engine driver's area."

It's noted that this tender is quite sizeable when compared with other components being used for steam engines across Australia.

An insight into other aspects of the Rattler project show ongoing assessment of the tracks and bridges is under way, as are plans for the development of a platform and carpark at Amamoor.

As for the locomotive itself, it's another story.

"Locomotive number 967 has been stripped back to bare metal and is currently being rebuilt," the council spokeswoman said.

"These works include repairing components where possible and manufacturing components when needed.

"The works are significant and it is anticipated the locomotive will be certified for service in March 2018."

In the interim, a replacement locomotive will be leased from Queensland Rail for the grand opening and subsequent trips.

Once the original engine is back and operational, the leased engine will be retained for 18 months to ensure a smooth ride for all Rattler passengers.

Gympie Times

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