There's been numerous incidents of either a Dog, Dog's and even their cousins a Fox on the line. Usually they happen without incident, others are not as fortunate.


Ouse Valley incident

On December 1st 2009[1] trains from London heading towards Sussex, travelling through the Ouse Valley area, were delayed because of a dog, on the line.

Dog on the line

According to Sussex Police, the trains were stopped when a dog owner ‘indicated strongly’ that he was about to climb onto the train track to retrieve his dog, which is believed to have been hit by a train. The police arrested the man and took him away from the scene, which occurred near the entrance to a railway tunnel.

No word on whether the dog survived or not has been released, but train travellers going from London towards Brighton, Eastbourne, Haywards Heath and Littlehampton were delayed for over an hour as a result of the trains being halted.

A spokeswoman for Southeastern was quick to add to the excuses for the delay in the trains, knowing that a dog on the line probably wasn’t sufficient to explain the length of delays experienced by passengers:

This, and signal problems in the Ouse Valley area, meant that train services in the area were delayed until normal service resumed about an hour later.

District line

From Going Underground[2]:"Another occasion, I had just boarded the District line at Mile End, and the train had just pulled out of the station when it ground to a halt.

There was a short pause before the driver said, "We're sorry for the delay, but there's a doggy on the track in front of us" (yes, he did actually say "doggy"!!). "In a minute the lights will go off, while we get the doggy moved to a place of safety."

Lights go off, we all sit in anxious silence. 3 minutes later, lights back on.

"You'll be pleased to know that the doggy has now been removed from the track and is safe and well, so we can resume our journey."

Mecca California

Although this one is in the US it's bad enough to warrant being on here.

Near Mecca, California on April 2 2013 a 78-year-old man tied a 10 month old puppy to train tracks[3] in the California desert because the family didn't want to dog anymore and didn't know what to do with it!

When the train approached the engineer saw a man walking away from the tracks and had to use the emergency brakes to keep from crushing it.

Riverside County animal control said in a statement Tuesday that Banjo, a 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix, is fine and up for adoption.

Fox hunt on the line

The worst case I've come across is actually a fox hunt on the line. Now we've all seen foxes either on or next to the line & usually it's not an issue (I see foxes all the time, especially outside Swanley.

However this incident from early September 2011[4][5] was when an illegal fox hunt chased a fox onto the main Exeter-Waterloo line, with their hounds!

Fox being chased by fox hunt

Police launched a probe into the actions of the Seavington Hunt after claims of illegal hunting and rail chiefs warned the hounds could have created carnage.

The train drivers' union, Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef), described footage of the incident as 'shocking'.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said the fox was shown running on a railway line at Clapton.


A few moments after the fox runs on the tracks hounds are then shown appearing but are called back by huntsmen.

Hunting foxes with dogs has been illegal since 2005 but they can chase a scent and flush out foxes who are then shot.



  1. Trains delayed by dog on the line Dream Dogs, Dec 2 2009, retrieved Sept 20, 2011
  2. Going Underground retrieved Sept 20, 2011
  3. Train narrowly avoids hitting puppy tied to track in California, Fox News Apr 10 2013, retrieved Nov 29 2013
  4. Police probe 'illegal hunt' after hounds chase fox along railway line… minutes before packed passenger train speeds past, Daily Mail 8 Sept 2011, retrieved Sept 20 2011
  5. Hounds 'filmed pursuing fox on to Somerset railway'BBC News 6 Sept 2011, retrieved Sept 20 2011