Tuesday 17 Oct 2017
Lucky escape for ‘Tony the Tawny’ rescued from the railway after Storm Ophelia
- London North Western
An owl which broke its wing when it was trapped under a tree felled by Storm Ophelia has been rescued by Network Rail.
The orange army was carrying out post storm inspections at Styal, near Manchester Airport, on Tuesday morning when the injured bird was spotted.
Quick-thinking staff wrapped the owl, named Tony the Tawny during the rescue, in one of Network Rail’s famous orange jackets before calling the RSPB and taking it to a depot in Manchester.
A quick RSPB health check revealed Tony the Tawny had a broken wing, an injured leg and was showing signs of an electric shock from the railway’s 25,000v overhead power lines which were hit as the tree fell.
Joseph Spiteri-Braysford, part of the Network Rail team which found Tony the Tawny, said: “We couldn’t believe our eyes when we spotted the owl under a tree blown onto the railway during Storm Ophelia. It was trapped amongst the branches which had been pulled clear of the tracks the night before.
“The tree damaged the power lines as it fell - which explains the owl’s suspected electric shock. While our feathered friend was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the tree came down, he was lucky we came back as he would have undoubtedly died if we hadn’t rescued him.”
Staff at Network Rail’s Guide Bridge depot, in Audenshawe, Manchester, are eagerly waiting for an update on Tony the Tawny’s condition. It’s hoped the owl will make a full recovery.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 19 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, more than 4.6 million journeys are made in the UK. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.