The Mary Ann steam engine about to head out from Maryborough station - Maryborough City Whistle Stop Inc president Warren McPherson with the whistle off the Mary Ann.Photo: Alistair Brightman
The Mary Ann steam engine about to head out from Maryborough station - Maryborough City Whistle Stop Inc president Warren McPherson with the whistle off the Mary Ann.Photo: Alistair Brightman

Loved steam train blows the whistle...literally

Maryborough's quirky steam engine, the Mary Ann, is famed for her merry whistles when she rolls down the rails.

As she headed off on her celebratory 21st birthday run to Oakhurst yesterday she outdid herself, blowing one of her whistles clean off when she passed under the Tooley St pedestrian bridge.

The steam leak caused by the blown off whistle was sealed with a wooden plug and but the planned run to Nagel St and back was cancelled as the crew opted to perform training runs in the Lennox Street rail yard instead.

Warren McPherson, president of the Maryborough City Whistle Stop, said the engine would be repaired and soon operational for future runs.

Despite the literal whistle stop, yesterday was historic for the rail heritage of Maryborough.

Peter Olds, the engineering mastermind and driving horse behind the replica Mary Ann, said it was "very satisfying" to see the steam engine still running after 21 years, keeping

Maryborough's railway history alive. The locomotive's heritage harks back to 1873 when the original Mary Ann was operational.

Mr Olds was said Mary Ann would keep going for years to come, hinting she might one day be joined by another locomotive.

Councillor Denis Chapman thanked the Whistle Stop volunteers on behalf of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, praising their commitment to preserving the city's history.