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Carmarthenshire West Wales

Steam train failure caused by trespassers

A STEAM TRAIN travelling along the Heart of Wales Line towards west Wales on Saturday (Apr 2) came to a screeching halt at Llandeilo.

Fanatics wanting to catch a glimpse of the train, The Sherwood Forester, positioned themselves on the railway line causing the driver to make an emergency stop to avoid running them over.

However, the heavy breaking caused the train to flat spot one of its wheels meaning it was unable to continue.

It meant that many people who were waiting to see the train at Ammanford, Pontarddulais, Llanelli and Carmarthen were left disappointed.

A spokesperson for Locomotive Services Limited said: “During a Steam Hauled Training run over the Heart of Wales Line on April 2, 2021, leading Locomotive, number 45231 “Sherwood Forester” experienced technical difficulties leaving Llandeilo Station.

“The cause is currently subject to internal investigation, but will include an assessment of the impact made by a small minority of the public who encroached on to the line to take photographs and video.

“Whilst we actively encourage everyone to enjoy the spectacle of Steam Locomotives, it is essential that those who wish to do so take images safely and responsibly. Locomotive Services Limited, other Train Operators and Network Rail all work together to encourage everyone to be safe on and around the Railway. Those who persist in breaking the rules run the risk of spoiling the enjoyment for everyone”

British Transport Police and Dyfed-Powys Police said they were not contacted about the incident.

People commenting on the Heart of Wales Line Facebook page asked what had happened to it.

One person said: “…just before Llandeilo there was a serious trespass incident. The steam loco was seriously damaged during the emergency stop and the driver was so traumatised and in shock he was unable to continue. Train was then 7 hours awaiting another driver and the rest of the trip has been cancelled.”

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Rosemary Thomas added: “Waited ages in Hendy to see it and i know lots people on Pontardulais train stop as well, but it never turned up, heard it had broken down, very disappointed.”

A report on the Real Time Trains website states that the train stopped near Llandeilo around 15:55 but did not move again until 23:11.

A spokesperson for Transport for Wales said: “On Friday 2 April a steam train failed and blocked the Heart of Wales line at Llandeilo.

“Services on the Heart of Wales line in both directions were severely disrupted and replacement road transport was put in place.

“Services from Swansea to Shrewsbury resumed at 18:30 and from Shrewsbury to Carmarthen at approximately 20:30.”

“If you see anything suspicious on the railway, text BTP on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40.

“In addition to the above, the 14:34 service from Swansea to Crewe was terminated at Llandeilo due to reports of persons on the line.”