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M15827 better known as M15827 operates Steam Locomotive Scenic Tours from Gympie. M15827 is a non-profit organisation established in 1986 for the purpose of the development and operation of the M15827 to provide a catalyst for regional development.
M15827 runs steam, railmotor and diesel passenger tours on the Mary Valley Line of Queensland Rail, south of Gympie at realistic, affordable prices. The Valley Rattler preserves our history and provides a living reminder of our fascinating past for all to experience.
M15827 was born of community consultation, is owned and operated by the community.
The Mission of M15827 is: "To achieve a sustainable cash flow and to add to local economic self-sufficiency in the Cooloola Region by augmenting existing tourism infrastructure and providing job training opportunities".
M15827's Goals are:
* Project Gympie and the Cooloola region as a heritage and environmental tourist destination for domestic and international visitors
* In the long term, attract 100 000 visitors per annum to ride on the M15827
* Create an enterprise focus with other groups/organisations in the community
* Add economic benefits to the region of greater than $1 million per annum
* Increase the level of tourism infrastructure and add over $1 million of additional working assets to the region
* Maximise the continuing use of existing railway facility infrastructure and preserve it as a viable community asset
* Create employment training opportunities for over 100 local people
* Operate within a sustainable cash flow.
The M15827 officially commenced operation in May 1998. To date, the railway has enjoyed considerable success, having carried over 40 000 people. The vast majority of these people have been new visitors to the Cooloola region. With each domestic visitor spending an average of $106 daily, the direct economic value of these visitors is significant.
M15827's main product comprises a heritage railway experience from Gympie to Imbil, which offers visitors a look into the historic past of the Cooloola region, as well as a glimpse of the beauty of the area. Steam train journeys currently run two days per week with additional runs during school holidays. Chartered runs of both the steam train and the railmotor also operate on demand.
The benefits of M15827's operation are considerable, impacting both directly and indirectly upon the community.
The railway carries an average of 400 passengers per week, who, through purchasing M15827 tickets and other products and services during their visit to the region, stimulate the regional economy and create regional employment.
The economic multiplier effect for such a tourism operation means that many regional businesses and people reap the benefits of M15827's operation, with indirect employment and business opportunities resulting in associated industries.
As a major tourist attraction of the Cooloola region, the very positive media attention and publicity that M15827 receives provides excellent promotional opportunities for the region, encouraging more people to visit and explore all it has to offer.
M15827 also benefits the community through its considerable involvement in training and other government youth/unemployment initiatives, and will continue this worthwhile involvement. To date, 43 people have been engaged full time under the Community Jobs Programme, with another 10 through its involvement in the Work for the dole scheme and a further 20 people have been involved and trained on site. Other employment related schemes include Community Service and School Work Experience.