West Malling train baby and mother 'doing really well'

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Media captionSteve Allen, who was sitting near Ms Banks while she was having contractions on the train said it was like Christmas

The grandmother of a baby born on a rush-hour train has said the mother and infant are "doing really well".

Mari-anne Stanley was with Sonia Banks, 22, and her son Allan when Miss Banks went into labour on the 18:18 London Victoria to Maidstone East service on Thursday.

The baby girl was delivered at West Malling and has been named Phoebe.

Mr Stanley, 21, said he was "on cloud nine" and that mother and baby are due to be released from hospital later.

Miss Banks was travelling to Ms Stanley's home with Phoebe's father when the contractions started.

She went into labour five minutes into the journey after boarding at Borough Green, Kent.

'Everything's fine'

Mr Stanley, from Kent, said: "It feels like I'm on cloud nine. I was present at the birth and witnessed everything.

"Everything's fine, they are just waiting for the doctor to do some tests and hopefully mother and baby will be released later."

Ms Stanley said the family was "still in shock", adding that mother and baby were "doing really well".

She said Miss Banks had given birth to the "perfectly healthy" 6lb 13oz baby a week early.

Passengers on the Southeastern service were asked to move off the train or into a separate carriage as an off-duty midwife, nurse and police officer came forward to help.

Ms Stanley thanked everyone who was involved on Thursday.

She added: "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."

'It was like Christmas'

Ms Stanley joked that she was having her "fingers broken gently" during the labour, which lasted 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 said the the guard and the train driver were "extremely helpful", and kept passengers updated by making announcements.

Passenger Steve Allen said: "I was reading my newspaper and the young lady in question who was sat two seats away from me began to make some moaning noises.

"I wonder what was going on and we suddenly all realised she was having contractions."

He added: "It was quite exciting actually, usually everyone reads their newspaper and sits there not saying anything but suddenly we had this fantastic thing happening.

"It was like Christmas."

Train conductor Colin Brooker said he had kept passengers informed about the 37-minute delay, adding: "there was a big cheer when we announced the baby was born".

"We had everyone we needed right there on the train," he said.

"We were only missing a vicar to baptise the baby."

Mr Brooker, a father-of-four added: "In all my 41 years working on the railway I've never experienced anything like this.

"It was amazing. I'll be having some celebration drinks to wet the baby's head."

People took to Twitter to offer their congratulations, including a parody account of Southeastern which tweeted: "Congrats to the woman who gave birth on train from Victoria this evening.

"Hope #Southeastern didn't fine your baby for not having a ticket."

A spokeswoman from Southeastern said the train company had sent the mother flowers to congratulate her.

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