Lisbon train crash

The first indication that something terrible had happened was the sight of locals from the nearby town running alongside the tracks outside our window towards the front of our train.

Minutes earlier we had pulled up at what we thought was a scheduled station at Amancil and the engines had been stopped.

As news filtered through the carriages and translated into different languages it became apparent that the unthinkable had happened.

We had hit a car.

Realising what had happened

Our journey to Faro had begun three and a half hours earlier in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

As we passed through the countryside of Southern Portugal our carriage had gradually emptied until there were only around a dozen or so passengers left with us.

We pulled up alongside a platform at what we imagined was a scheduled station only nobody alighted and the silence grew as the constant hum of the engines stopped.

Ten minutes passed with no announcement as some people became a little restless. One elderly lady popped her head out of a carriage door window trying to find out what was happening.

Our answer came in the form of a Portuguese man who had made his way into our carriage. Through broken English we established that we had hit a car.

Worryingly we had no sensation of us hitting it.

Seeking out information

Leaving the train in search of more information we discovered to our relief that nobody had been in the car when the train had collided with it. The vehicle had been left unattended after breaking down on the crossing which now sat behind the last carriage.

Getting more information from the train officials proved a little more elusive with one guard saying it would be four hours before we moved though it could be more, could be less.

An ambulance arrived to treat the owner of the car for shock as she was on her way back to it when the accident had happened but this was the only response we saw.

Confusion took hold as some people gathered their luggage and headed towards the nearby town. We heard rumours that a bus would be coming to pick us up but no indication of how long it would take. Forty minutes came and went with no action from the guards.

With no idea of how far we were away from Faro and with no indication of any action whether it be to remove the car or the imminent arrival of the rumoured bus we were left with little option but to grab our rucksacks and make the short walk to the nearby cafe in Amancil.

Finding a way to Faro

When we arrived the cafe was abuzz with fellow passengers. Delighted with the extra custom the train crash had brought in, the owner was also very helpful in pointing out that Faro was only 20 kilometres away.

People began arranging taxis and sorting themselves into groups of four depending on whether they were heading to the airport or into the centre of Faro.

Within ten minutes we were concluding our journey along with a native Portuguese man and a Norwegian backpacker.

A day later and still none the wiser

The following morning we searched the Internet for news of the crash and found nothing. We never did find out how long it took for the train to complete its journey.

What began as a simple train journey from Lisbon to Faro finished with a little adventure.

Have you ever been involved in something similar whilst travelling?