Woman gives birth on train: First pictures of baby Phoebe

Heavily-pregnant mum-to-be Sonia Banks, 22, went into labour on the busy 18.18 London Victoria service to Maidstone East last night.

A couple are celebrating the unusual birth of their second child this morning - after the mother went into labour on a packed rush-hour commuter train.

Heavily pregnant Sonia Banks, 22, suddenly went into labour on the busy 18.18 London Victoria service to Maidstone East last night, stunning the full carriage of passengers, as well as her partner Allan Stanley.

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 Banks gave birth a week early to a "perfectly healthy" 6lb 13oz baby called Phoebe on board - and was greeted with cheers by other passengers.

The baby's father today said he was 'on cloud nine' after the birth of his daughter.

Mr Stanley, 21, was travelling back to his mother's home with her and his partner when the contractions started.

Phoebe caused a stir when she was born on the 18.18 London Victoria service to Maidstone East (Invicta Kent Me …

He said: "I felt like, 'Oh my God'. It feels like I'm on cloud nine. It's mad. 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."

The baby's paternal grandmother, Mari-anne Stanley - who was travelling back home with the pregnant mum-to-be -  said the family are 'still in shock' following the unusual birth.

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.

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."

Other passengers joked that it was 'the first time anything to do with #southeastern trains has arrived early'.
Poll Choice Options