Dog owner’s anger as beloved pet is killed on rail line

Marie Cunningham beside the hole in the fence that Miku ran through to get to the railway lines
Marie Cunningham beside the hole in the fence that Miku ran through to get to the railway lines
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A PET owner has called for security to be improved around city railway lines after her beloved dog was killed when he wandered through a gap in the fence and on to the track.

Marie Cunningham’s labrador cross Miku was struck by a train after running off and ending up on the line near Carrick Knowe golf course.

Miku was hit by a train

Miku was hit by a train

It turned out he had made his way through a hole in the fence that is supposed to separate the railway line from the ongoing tram works nearby.

Ms Cunningham, 50, who is a full-time carer for her autistic son, now wants the hole repaired to avoid other pets – or children – getting access to the tracks.

She said: “My heart is crunched just now, I don’t know what to do without him.

“We were just leaving the golf course and he wandered off to the side, but I assumed he was just away having a sniff of something.

“He always came back so I didn’t think too much of it, but then more time passed and I became worried.

“I just felt sick. I was out until 5am looking for him, but I never thought of the train lines as a danger because I thought they were all fenced off.”

But the next morning when she went out with her daughter to resume the search, it became clear what had happened.

Ms Cunningham said: “She’s a bit braver than me so walked through the rubble down to the fence and it was then we saw the gap, which you could easily fit three people through.

“We then looked on to the line and saw his flashing collar, and we realised what happened. I was beside myself.”

After contacting charities, Network Rail – which is responsible for the fence – and the British Transport Police, the dog’s body was eventually found about 600 yards up the track.

It was returned to Ms Cunningham, from Saughton, who has had him cremated and received his ashes yesterday.

She said: “I’m not looking for compensation, I even cancelled my pet insurance and refused a pay-out because the money means nothing to me just now, it can’t replace him.

“I rescued him three years ago and he was a bit difficult, but I didn’t give up on him and he became a lovely dog.

“My son, David, has special needs and he is lost without him, he made him feel secure.

“I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else. Can you imagine if a child wandered on to the line?”

A spokeswoman for Lost Dogs Scotland said: “It is a disgrace that Network Rail don’t repair these fences.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Our advice to dog owners would be very much the same as when they are near roads – to keep the dog on a lead and under control.”