1. ITV Report

The 15 minute labour - on a high speed train

Photo: PA

The paternal grandmother of a baby girl born on a train packed full of commuters during rush-hour said today: "We're all 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 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.

Explaining how it began, she said: "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."

Ms Stanley 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.

"We'd also like to apologise to all the passengers who were delayed but the circumstances were such that we simply could not go any further."

Ms Stanley was beside mother as she gave birth and joked that she was having her "fingers broken gently" during the labour, which lasted just 15 minutes.

"When we were taken off to go to the ambulance there were people on the platform who gave us a rapturous round of applause and cheered. Passengers were lining the platform.

"It was a fantastic reception." 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."

More on this story