Audlem walkers in Welsh train crash

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News has just reached Audlem Online that three walkers from Audlem were involved in a dramatic steam train collision with a car in Central Wales this afternoon. All are safe and uninjured.

A team of ARS (Audlem Ramblers Society) members are walking the Owen Glendower trail in mid-Wales. John Cooke, indeed, is raising money on the walk for the Donna Louise Trust.

After three days of walking, and three yet to come, today was a designated rest day. John, May Hunter and Christine Johnson decided to enjoy what they hoped would be a peaceful steam train rail journey on the Vale of Rheidol railway that runs from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge.

On a beautiful sunny day, the train was packed and the Audlem three-some opted for the open 'summer' carriage. It meant they had a full view of the accident as a car, with two women passengers who mustn't have seen or heard the on-coming train, crashed into the steam locomotive and then into their carriage.

The train was travelling relatively slowly, about 30mph, yet still completely destroyed the front of the car. It's thought that the car passengers are ok but will be badly shocked and shaken, as were the train passengers.

As Christine Johnson said in a phone call to Audlem Online: "With true British grit, the hundred or so passengers disembarked and waited for rescue. There was no panic even though the crash was in an isolated spot half way along the line."

Over an hour later, the emergency services had still not made it to the scene but a diesel engine arrived and rescued the rail passengers, leaving the steam locomotive and the summer carriage behind.

Christine tells us that a large Gin & Tonic back at their base in Machynlleth was doing wonders for the nerves.

The 135 mile — 217km Owen Glendower, or Owain Glyndwr trail is a long distance walk which can be enjoyed as a continuous journey, typically taking nine or ten days.

The route starts in Knighton on the Welsh — English border, and runs in a giant horse-shoe across the Welsh heartlands to Machynlleth near the Dyfi estuary, and back again across Wales to Welshpool, close to the English border.

Sponsorship forms are available in Williams' newsagents for John's walk in aid of the Donna Louise Children's Hospice. After today's incident, support for John's charity efforts may be all the more generous.


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