A campaign has been launched between Arriva Trains Wales and the charity Welsh Hearts to install life saving defibrillators along the Heart of Wales line in its 150th year.
The campaign, which was launched today (4th July), coincided with a visit by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall travelled from Llandovery to Builth Road Station to mark the 150th anniversary of the line and were shown the first two defibrillators to be installed upon their arrival at Builth Road.
With 28 stations solely on the Heart of Wales route, the line links Swansea with Shrewsbury and passes through Carmarthenshire, Powys and Shropshire. Many of the stations are in rural areas a long way from emergency assistance.
The first two defibrillators will be installed in cabinets at Llandovery and Builth Road respectively to mark the visit by Their Royal Highnesses.
The visit saw the Royal couple travel between Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, over the Cynghodry Viaduct, through the Sugar Loaf tunnel and across to Builth Road in Powys.
Fundraising will now take place with a goal of installing one at all 28 stations on the line from Bynea to Broome.
Tom Joyner, Managing Director for Arriva Trains Wales, said: “Stations are often at the heart of communities and never more so than on the Heart of Wales line which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Every second counts when someone is having a cardiac arrest so this campaign really could make a difference in helping save lives in the communities we serve. It was a real pleasure to welcome Their Royal Highnesses onboard today and share some of the details about the campaign with them as well as celebrating the dedicated work of volunteers up and down the line.”
Sharon Owen, Founder of Welsh Hearts said: “As a Charity our passion is to see safer communities and more lives saved. We believe the impact on having more Public access defibrillators at train stations will be far-reaching given the sheer number of travellers daily. Lives should not be lost, due to a lack of a defibrillator in the event of an emergency. They should be available everywhere. We are honoured to be working with Arriva Trains to make the vision of a safer Wales a reality.”
David Edwards and Rachel Francis of the Heart of Wales Line Development Company said: “The Heart of Wales Line Development Co Ltd is delighted to be involved in the ‘Looking after the Heart of Wales’ campaign. One of the great benefits of our line is that it gives access to such remote communities, but this also means that access to emergency medical facilities can be challenging. The new defibrillators will be reassuring for visitors to the area – including users of our new Heart of Wales Line Walking Trail. We look forward to partnering in the programme as it is implemented.”