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Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Wandering cow halts train journey
Rail passengers were trapped on a train for more than seven hours after it struck a cow on the line.

The cross-country service from Edinburgh to Bournemouth was stuck just outside Oxford on Sunday afternoon after its brakes locked.

The 220 passengers finally arrived into Oxford station after midnight, where coaches and taxis were laid on.

Virgin Trains said dealing with the problem took "a considerable period of time because of the rural location".

'Bloody mess'

The knock-on effects caused a further 25 trains to be delayed.

A Virgin Trains spokesman said: "We have no idea how the cow got on to the track.

"Despite Network Rail investing in high-level security fencing, cows are still managing to get on to the tracks quite regularly."

The cow, which caused a "bloody mess", went underneath the train, bursting the air chamber in the brakes and locking them tight, he said.

The air conditioning stayed on in the train throughout the ordeal and passengers were being invited to claim refunds, he added.

Taxis and coaches were laid on for passengers' onward journeys to Reading, Winchester, Southampton and Bournemouth.

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