HILARIOUS video has emerged online of a stand-off between a swan and an Edinburgh train driver on the west coast mainline.
In the funny footage, Stephen Watson is seen trying to shoo the bird from the tracks with whatever he could grab - a mop and broom handle from the cleaning cupboard.
But after a spot of posturing, the stubborn trespasser responds with a hiss and Stephen turns to his tittering colleagues and simply shrugs.
“My main concern was just to get it to a position of safety, I just grabbed the mop for protection,” Stephen, 51, from Buckstone, told the Evening News.
A driver for 30 years, Stephen came across the unusual obstacle as his 6.51 service from Waverley to London Euston navigated the slow junction at Carstairs yesterday.
So he grabbed his improvised swan-herding gear from the cupboard, donned his high-vis jacket, clambered from his cab and went to work.
Word soon spread around the train and one of Stephen’s colleagues filmed his encounter on their mobile phone.
“It’s mandatory that we have to stop because it’s a protected bird,” said Stephen. “It’s lucky because ten minutes earlier would’ve been the Glasgow Express which wouldn’t have been able to stop in time.”
Stephen’s persistence eventually paid off and the bird was persuaded to let his train past before being rescued by Network Rail staff.
His heroics meant his train was a little under ten minutes behind schedule, though passengers were supportive.
“I let the train manager know and I think he made an announcement - with a fair amount of clapping.”
The swan was handed over to vets to be treated for a wound to its left leg. “I was just delighted to find out later it’ll make a full recovery,” said Stephen.
His proud daughter Sarah, 23, posted his video on Twitter and posted: “Dad’s a train driver and there was a swan on the tracks this morning he needed to move but instead looks like he is trying to give it a square go.”