The father of a baby girl born on a train packed full of commuters during rush hour said: “It feels like I’m on cloud nine.”
Allan Stanley, 21, was travelling back to his mother’s home with her and his partner Sonia Banks, 22, when the contractions started. Moments later, on Thursday night’s 18:18 London Victoria to Maidstone East service, Banks gave birth to a “perfectly healthy” 6lb 13oz baby called Phoebe.
Luckily a midwife, a nurse, and a police officer, who were all off-duty, were on board the Southeastern service to help with the birth.
Stanley, from Kent, said: “I felt like, ’Oh my God’. It feels like I’m on cloud nine. It’s mad. I was present at the birth and witnessed everything.”
His mother, Mari-anne Stanley, said the birth, which came a week early, was greeted with cheers from other passengers.
“The train was stopped at West Malling to let passengers off and I ran off to the driver telling him we needed to not go any further and call an ambulance because she was giving birth.
“We’d like to apologise to all the passengers who were delayed but the circumstances were such that we simply could not go any further.”
Stanley was beside Banks as she gave birth. “The guard and the driver were extremely helpful. The driver was making announcements, keeping the passengers updated.”
Stanley said it was a “pain-free labour” which lasted 15 minutes from around 7.15pm, and the baby was a second child for Banks.
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.”
It emerged that Banks had been seen at Tunbridge Wells Hospital earlier but was sent away as she was not in labour and contractions had not started.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved