Monday 18 Oct 2021
Swanning about: railway rescue for confused cygnets
Two baby swans have been rescued by track workers after losing their mother and wandering on to the railway.
The first cygnet was spotted by a member of the public on Thursday, 14 October, who alerted Network Rail workers Steve Brough and Daniel Deaville, on the track nearby.
The pair managed to catch the confused creature and reunite it with its mother in the nearby lake at Bathpool Park near Kidsgrove, Staffordshire.
Moments later Daniel and Steve discovered a second cygnet cowering in ferns beside the railway.
They noticed it had an injured wing so called the RSPCA for assistance. They kept the little bird company until the help arrived. It was then taken for treatment by a vet.
Steve Brough, works delivery technician at Network Rail, said: “Many of us in my team are animal lovers. These stranded cygnets were obviously distressed having not only lost their mother but strayed into a dangerous and loud environment.
“It must have been really scary for both of them. We’re really glad to have got them safely away from harm.”
Jackie Hickman, inspector at RSPCA said: "The men were absolutely fantastic and went above and beyond for animal welfare. Both of the cygnets were angry and hissing quite a lot, but they managed to capture them safely and calmly and get them off the line. They stayed for a long time, late on a Thursday night to do this, and we would like to thank them for the enormous care and dedication they showed."
Network Rail’s advice is clear: never go on the railway as it is very dangerous
Anyone who sees an animal on the tracks is advised to ring the Network Rail helpline on 03457 11 41 41 so our specially trained staff can help.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. 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.