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Southeastern praises driver who jumped out of train to remove fallen tree on Tunbridge Wells to Charing Cross line

A quick-thinking train driver jumped out of his cab to remove a fallen tree blocking the line this morning.

He was in charge of the 6.09am service from Tunbridge Wells to Charing Cross following a stormy night and high winds which battered Kent.

But as the train pulled out of the station and headed up the line towards Fant, it neared the obstruction.

Firefighters were called. Stock picture
Firefighters were called. Stock picture

Realising this would hold up commuters heading into London, the driver jumped out of his cab and heaved the tree from the track on to the side before continuing the journey.

His actions prevented serious delays to the Southeastern service and meant the train was only nine minutes late.

Southeastern had already tweeted about the obstruction, it said: “SERVICE UPDATE: A tree on the line between Tunbridge Wells & Fant may cause delays to trains through the area, more to follow."

But once the hero driver contacted the control centre to let them know what he had done the announcement was replaced by the following tweet: "The driver of the 06:09 Tunbridge Wells-Charing Cross train has removed the tree & the train's on the move."

Now Richard Dean, train services director at Southeastern, has praised the actions. He said: “I’d like to say well done to our train driver. The quick-thinking actions of our employee meant that all the people on this busy commuter train did not suffer severe delays after a night of high winds blew this tree onto the tracks.

“While our employees are committed to getting our passengers to where they need to be every day, the actions of this driver are really impressive.”

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