Pawsome reminder: Network Rail issues warning to pet owners after dog rescued from railway tracks in South East London: Wayne Kennedy, Network Rail’s Lewisham Mobile Operations Manager, with the rescued dog

Monday 20 Mar 2023

Pawsome reminder: Network Rail issues warning to pet owners after dog rescued from railway tracks in South East London

Region & Route:
| Southern: Kent

Network Rail is reminding pet owners of the importance of securing dogs and other pets when near the railway following a dog being rescued from underneath a train in South East London yesterday (Sunday 19 March).

Yesterday afternoon a small dog was spotted on the tracks between Eltham and Falconwood, resulting in around 90 minutes of disruption to Southeastern passengers travelling on the Bexleyheath line.

Upon the dog being spotted by the train driver of the 14.27 Dartford to Victoria train service, the train was stopped while the driver attempted to remove the dog from the railway which had sought sanctuary underneath the train’s carriages. Another train – the 14.07 Victoria to Dartford service also stopped to aid the safe retrieval of the pooch.

Network Rail’s response team arrived on-site shortly after and after coaxing out the dog with some treats, Network Rail’s Mobile Operations Manager, Wayne Kennedy, was able to safely remove the pooch from the tracks and reunite it with its owner.

The safe removal of the dog from the tracks affected a total of 28 train services and resulted in eight trains being cancelled and 31 services failing to stop (when a train service is unable to stop at its planned station stops). The recovering involved numerous teams including colleagues from Network Rail, Southeastern and the British Transport Police, highlighting the adverse impact incidents such as trespass and animals on the line can have on passengers’ journeys.

Wayne Kennedy, Network Rail’s Lewisham mobile operations manager, said: “It was brilliant that our team was able to safely remove the dog from the track and reunite it with its owner. I am sure many of our passengers are pet owners and can imagine how relieved the owner was to have their pet pooch safely returned alive and well.

“However, its really important to recognise the significant impact this had on Southeastern services yesterday afternoon, resulting in delays of around 90 minutes for a considerable number of passengers.

“We all recognise accidents do happen and that dogs and other pets can sometimes slip their leads or become loose, but we urge pet owners to be extra vigilant in ensuring their pets are secured when walking near the tracks, in stations or using the railway, in which dogs are always welcome!

“I would like to apologise to passengers who were delayed and thank them for their patience and understanding.”

Mark Knowles, Southeastern’s station manager for Eltham, said: “We’re so glad that our colleagues at Network Rail were able to arrive so quickly to lead this dog away from the tracks, ensuring there was a happy ending all round.

“Our customers and colleagues would hugely appreciate everyone taking extra care of their much loved pets around the railway so that we can avoid incidents like this in the future.”

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Rob Breckon
Senior Communications Manager - Southern
Network Rail
07395 390759

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