Pets on board the Mary Valley Steam Rattler

Pets on Board ... Bear and Maya try out the new service.

The famous Mary Valley Rattler steam train is now allowing passengers to share the ride with their four-legged friends.

A ‘Pets On Board’ service was recently launched, with the help of one of the Sunshine Coast’s most special dogs – Bear, an Australian Koolie, and his friend Maya.

Bear is part of a team at the Detection Dogs for Conservation Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and is trained to detect live koalas through the scent of their fur.

Recognising that dogs are playing an increasingly important role in the lives of humans, the Rattler has configured a carriage with two segregated booths that can accommodate up to six people and two pets in each booth.

“We have had many requests from potential passengers asking whether they can bring their dogs,” said Micheal Green, General Manager of the Mary Valley Rattler.

“Naturally we’ve allowed passengers with Guide Dogs to travel on the Rattler and everyone has been supportive, so extending the opportunity to other passengers to bring along a well-behaved pet was a logical evolution.

“It is part of our philosophy of making the Rattler available to everyone in the community.”

Mr Green said the Rattler’s recently launched all-access carriage, specifically designed to facilitate wheelchair passengers, had attracted a flood of bookings.

The Mary Valley Rattler operates a range of services across the week from Gympie Station to Amamoor in the Mary Valley. The three-hour journeys capture the beauty and history of the rich agricultural – and former gold mining – region from the comfort of beautifully restored heritage carriages.

The pricing for passengers is the same as the regular service and pets cost $10 each. Pets can travel on board the Rattler on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday services subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.