Baby Born on Commuter Train

The grandmother of a baby girl born on a train packed full of commuters during rush-hour in Kent has said the family are still in shock.

Mari-anne Stanley was travelling back to her home with the unnamed woman who suddenly went into labour on board the 18:18 London Victoria to Maidstone East service last night.

Passengers on board the Southeastern service from London Victoria to Maidstone East were asked to move off the train or into a separate carriage as a midwife, nurse and police officer, who were off-duty, came forward to help.

Ms Stanley said the mother gave birth a week early to a "perfectly healthy'' 6lb 13oz baby called Phoebe on board - and were greeted with cheers by other passengers.

She added: "Mum and child are doing very well. They are expected to be released from hospital today. We would like to thank everybody involved yesterday.

She went on: "The guard and the driver were extremely helpful. The driver was making announcements, keeping the passengers updated.

"The guard called the ambulance and was extremely helpful, and there was an off-duty nurse, off-duty midwife and an off-duty police officer on board the train, thank God.''

Ms Stanley said it was a "pain-free labour'' which lasted 15 minutes from around 7.15pm, and has resulted in a second child for the mother.

"I was having my fingers broken gently through the labour as I was helping her breathe,'' she joked. "I believe it was the midwife that helped deliver her.''

She praised the response of other passengers on board, saying they moved away without any dissent. "They were asked to leave the carriage to give us a bit of dignity, and everyone either left or got on another carriage.

"We're all still in shock.''

Passengers took to Twitter to offer their congratulations last night.

One user, @thumper_1111, said: "Baby girl just been born on 18:18 Victoria to ashford at west malling. marvelous grats to parents hope all well.''

But another commuter said: "That's the first good excuse Southeastern have come up with for a delayed train.''