Engineers taught to tackle swans as number of birds landing on train tracks goes up

Network Rail is training specialist engineers to deal with a surprising problem on our region's railways - swans on the line.

The birds mistake the railway for rivers in hot or wet weather, landing on the lines, injuring themselves.

They can't see straight ahead or straight it must look quite similar to a river for them."

Jemma Nelson, The Swan Sanctuary

Recent incidents in Surrey and Berkshire have led to lengthy delays.

Network Rail's emergency response teams are being trained to deal with the animal, in the hope a quick reaction will cut delays.

Engineers are taught how to pick up the birds without hurting themselves or the animals.

Engineers are sent to the Swan Sanctuary in Shepperton to learn how best to deal with the animals.

Any new starter, the first thing we do is...get them on a training course with the Swan Sanctuary to learn how to deal with these swans."

Peter Atkins, Network Rail