Baby on board! South Western Railway celebrates birth of baby Sophia

Wednesday 22nd November 2017

History has been made with the birth of the first ever ‘South Western Railway baby’

Shortly after 10am on Friday 10 November, between Waterloo and Farnham stations, mother-to-be Noemi Mercurelli experienced labour pains whilst on board a South Western Railway train.

The Guard on board at the time, Martin Miller, was walking through the train tending to his duties when Noemi alerted him that she was going in to labour. He immediately informed SWR's control centre and requested that an ambulance meet Noemi at the nearest station at the time, Surbiton.

Martin the guard, Noemi and baby Sophia

Martin, or @MartinTheGuard as he is known on Twitter, arranged for station staff to meet Noemi at the platform and wait with her until the ambulance arrived. He tweeted soon afterwards:

“So very pleased to be able to assist a lady that had gone into labour on my train today between Waterloo and Farnham. Many congratulations on the impending birth of your daughter.”

After a SWR customer responded by calling him a hero, Martin responded with typical modesty and humour:

“I did nothing more than call for an ambulance and make sure there was some one able to wait with the lady until help arrived. I shan't be hanging up my whistle to be become a baby catcher just yet.”

New Mum Noemi tweeted her message of gratitude along with a photo of baby Sophia the day after the birth. Noemi said: “A big thank you to the amazing staff of @SW_Help , #SurbitonStation & @stjohnambulance for your help yesterday. To the passengers, sorry for the little delay caused on your way to Farnham!”

SWR staff were so taken with the news of the first “train baby”, they arranged to meet Noemi and Sophia at Farnham station to spoil them with some presents including a baby-grow that reads: “My journey started on South Western Railway”.

SWR branded baby clothing

Noemi said: "I was only going in to London to run some errands. I went in to labour at 10.40 and by 11.10 baby Sophia was born at the hospital! My friends and family were all very shocked when I told them the story."

Alan Penlington, Director of Customer Experience for South Western Railway, said: “Everyone was delighted by the news and smitten when they saw the photo of baby Sophia. It’s not every day we hear about a ‘South Western Railway baby’ so we wanted to spoil Noemi and baby Sophia with some treats to celebrate her arrival.

“Well done to all of our colleagues who helped to make Noemi’s experience as comfortable as possible by reassuring her and acting speedily to get the ambulance there on time. We all wish baby Sophia the very best for the future and look forward to welcoming her on to one of our services very shortly!”