Right hand bend on the c17 802 Mary Valley Rattler heading towards the Kandanga Bank

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Comments (2)

Tony Reid on December 23, 2008

Wow. Countryside that looks like NZ, Sue!!

Merry Christmas from New Zealand

Cheers, Tony

Ian Stehbens on December 31, 2008

Dear Sue,

This is my line! It's really deeply apart of my identity, having travelled to Gympie Hugh School on it from Imbil from 1959 - 1964. I know its every bend, still, and I don't have to shut my eyes.

Now here comes some information that they didn't tell you about the Mary Valley rattler.

This picture of Kandanga Bank invokes many memories and a catalogue of stories. On a cold frosty morning, the frost would be on the lines here and the fully laden railmotor, "the rattler" would leave Kandanga station and the frosty flats and head under full throttle across the Kandanga Creek bridge and around to the level crossing, hoping to make it up this bank. By the time we got to this point we were just about out of sand (from the sand boxes to give traction) and the motor would start slipping.

Sometimes the kids (about 80 - 100 of us at this stage) would climb out of the carriages to lighten the load and a few lads would even put gravel grit on the rails to provide traction. That usually did it, and we might make it up the bank and happily run down into Amamoor, eventually arriving on time in Gympie, then it was off to high school for us all.

But there were better times. That was when there was a conspiracy to ensure that we didn't alight from the cars so that the motor had almost no chance of climbing the bank. And a few wicked boys would ensure that instead of grit being added to the rails, there would be rocks and other chocks, and even an old sleeper or two to ensure that we had to reverse to Kandanga.

In Kandanga, one of the cars would be detached and all of us would be compressed to the remaining three cars.

The fourth carriage was what we called the "dog box". It was a smaller carriage than the others, and was added to the railmotor on "rural school days" when primary aged children from one of the valley schools, say Imbil State School, would also travel to Gympie for their fortnightly classes in woodwork, metalwork, leatherwork, technical drawing for boys and sewing, cooking for the girls. The "rural school boys" would ride in the "dog box".

Then back to the Kandanga bank the motor would head with refilled sandboxes, and one less carriage, and we would sail over, with no opportunity for boys to sand the rails or to try the more noble tricks that may delay our arrival at school.

The most successful day from the kids point of view was the day we arrived at Gympie Station at 10:55 more than 2 hours behind schedule. We had also been delayed at Monkland that morning by a freight train as we were so late. It was a good morning.

Thank you for your love of the Rattler, and your defence of the Mary River - Let Mary Run Free! And congratulations on your monochrome in the Kandanga yards. Kandanga was the first temporary terminus on the line, for Melawondi tunnel and Yabba Creek bridge were quite big projects at the time.

Greetings from Sydney.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 22, 2008
  • Attribution-Share Alike
    by Sue Allen
    • Camera: Traveler DC-X5
    • Taken on 2008/12/21 13:11:06
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/307)
    • Focal Length: 6.40mm
    • F/Stop: f/3.200
    • ISO Speed: ISO64
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash