A puppy spotted on the tracks of a busy railway has been rescued by a trainee who was in the middle of a train driving lesson.
Stefan Hug, from east London, was forced to stop a Southern service from Beckenham Junction to London Bridge on Wednesday after seeing the black puppy running alongside his train.
The trainee started learning to drive a train in January.
Authorities are still searching for the puppy’s owner.
Mr Hug, 32, said despite having only started train driving last month, his training immediately “kicked in” when he saw the puppy.
“I think because you talk about it so many times the procedure just kicks in and you just know you need to bring the train to a stand, take a deep breath and think logically the next thing to do,” Mr Hug said.
“Of course, that was contacting the signaller to get permission and authorisation to do anything before we step outside and try to retrieve the puppy.”
Along with his driving instructor, Mr Timmins, he managed to collect the uninjured female puppy from the tracks and take her to a nearby platform, where they fed her ham.
Mr Timmins praised Mr Hug for keeping his composure when he spotted the lost puppy.
“Stefan alerted me that he’d seen a puppy running next to the front of the train. He immediately put it into the correct braking procedure to bring the train to a stand,” he said.
“It was really good to see Stefan do those procedures correctly, and I’m really proud of him.”
The instructor said he hoped the incident served as a “wake-up call” to dog owners.
“It just reinforces the point of making sure if people have dogs on the platforms, they should be on the leash all the time and to keep pets near to you,” Mr Timmins said.
“It’s so easy for dogs to run off and run on the rails and it’s very hard to get them back.”