Swans on tracks cause rush-hour train delays twice near Penshurst …
Is this the most British reason for train delays? That was the question asked after a family of swans blocked a railway line twice in one day.
Southern Rail said the flock had mounted the tracks at Penshurst, near Tonbridge, just after 9am today, delaying the service between Redhill and Tonbridge.
⚠️ Due to swans on the line at Penshurst, services between Redhill and Tonbridge are being delayed.
👉 We are working to get them safely removed from the railway.
👉 Please allow extra time wherever possible.— Southern (@SouthernRailUK) May 25, 2023
Commuters were warned their journey could take an extra 20 minutes as railway staff tried to remove the swans safely.
Initially, their efforts were successful and the family of birds were moved on at around 10.20am and the service returned to normal.
But looking to cause more rush-hour chaos, the swans returned to the tracks at 5.30pm this evening.
Once again services were delayed between Redhill and Tonbridge while staff again tried to move them.
Southern UK said: “Network Rail colleagues are on site, and did previously manage to encourage the swans away from the tracks to a place of safety.
“Despite many attempts to tempt them elsewhere, the swans have now decided to return to the tracks.
A family of swans mounted the railway tracks – twice! Stock photo.
“We are now waiting for a wildlife charity to attend in the hopes that they can safely transport the family of swans to a safe place, away from the railway.”
Despite the delays, commuters have seen the funny side, asking if it is the “most British reason for rail delays ever” and comparing it to the famous Hot Fuzz scene – where police officers played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost attempt to capture a swan that has escaped.
Services have since resumed as normal through Penshurst.
The baby bird is on the road to recovery. Picture: Kent Police Medway
And they were not the only bird to find themselves in a precarious position in Kent today.
While out on patrol, PC Charlotte from the Medway Community Policing Team found an injured baby bird that had fallen from its nest.
The chick was taken to a nearby vet and is now on the road to recovery.