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12 March 2013 08:34
West Melling railway station: The scene of the rush-hour baby drama
As rail service delay excuses go, it certainly beats leaves on the line. Last Thursday night's 18.18 London Victoria to Maidstone East service was delayed due to a woman giving birth. Far from being put out, the packed rush-hour train greeted the news with cheers. Baby Phoebe was safely delivered "perfectly healthy" a week early, weighing 6lb 13oz.
The contractions started as mum Sonia Banks, 22, was travelling back with partner Allan Stanley, 21, to his mother's home. An off-duty midwife, nurse and police officer were all on board the Southeastern service to help with the birth after passengers were asked at West Malling to move off the train or into a separate carriage. The news will serve as a reminder for mums-to-be who are thinking of travelling abroad while pregnant to take out
pregnancy travel insurance.
Mr Stanley, from Kent, said: "I'm on cloud nine." His mother, Mari-anne Stanley, said: "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." She ran to the driver at West Malling station, telling him they needed to stop and call an ambulance because Ms Banks was giving birth.
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