Historic station saved
A DECISION to repair the most under-utilised station in southeast Queensland's rail network signifies the Gympie region's future growth and an improvement to rail services.
The historic railway station shelter at Traveston had been condemned by Queensland Rail, which announced its intention of excluding the stop from future train trips and bulldozing the dilapidated shelter.
Plans changed once rail advocate group Rail Back On Track, together with State Member for Gympie, David Gibson, sought a reversal of the decision, siting the station as crucial to the Mary Valley Recovery Plan.
"We see here today the refurbishment of the historic waiting shelter (after) it was very nearly lost to termites," Rail Back On Track's Rob Dow said after hopping off the train at Traveston.
"I commend Queensland Rail for the restoration. It's good news the station will remain open and operational."
As people move back into the Valley, the little station is expected to become more important to the community, especially after the completion of the Bruce Hwy interchange and high-level bridge linking Traveston to Kandanga and Amamoor.
Mr Dow said the station also had historical significance - it was the location of a serious rail crash in 1925, in which people perished - essential for the future of a rail-based tourism industry.
"Gympie has the historic railway so why not develop a rail-based tourism industry that links with the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane?"
Visitors could stay overnight at Cooroy, Pomona, Cooran or Gympie and take a scenic trip on the Mary Valley Heritage Railway onboard the historic Valley Rattler steam train.
The people of Traveston welcomed the action in keeping this railway station at the heart of the hamlet and maintaining services to it, including the new daytime Gympie train that Rail Back On Track sought to have introduced.
"These are simple, practical solutions that support community connectivity while ensuring people have reasonable public transport access to such things as medical treatments in Nambour and Brisbane," Mr Dow said.