A high-speed train was turned into a makeshift maternity ward when a woman gave birth to her baby daughter on board.
Tatiana Smurova-Bolton, 41, was on the 3.43pm Southeastern service from Ashford International to St Pancras International on May 15 when she went into labour.
After coming to a halt at platform 13 shortly after 4pm, the carriage was cleared by staff to give the expectant mother some privacy.
Tatiana’s husband, Henry Bolton, the former Ukip candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Kent, was on the service with his wife and their two-year-old daughter Lucinda, when labour began.
The family’s newest addition, Victoria, was safely delivered by paramedics.
“We were travelling up to London as my wife was booked into a hospital there and it became increasingly apparent we weren’t going to make it all the way,” Henry told the Press Association.
“She was getting contractions which were rapidly increasing in frequency and where do you go from the train?
“As we were pulling into St Pancras station it became obvious that we weren’t going to get off and there was a lady who very kindly agreed to stay on the train with my wife whilst I went to get some assistance.
“We got my wife on to the floor and then the paramedics arrived, we cleared everything out of the way and just prepped for birth.”
The delivery was over in a matter of minutes and the family stayed on board while checks were carried out, before being transferred to a nearby hospital by ambulance.
The baby, who weighed 3.82 kg (8.4 lbs), is now being kept on antibiotics in hospital, but both mother and daughter are said to be doing “very well”.
Henry, 53, said he was very happy with how the unusual delivery unfolded.
“One of the reasons I think it went so well is because it was in a natural situation and it wasn’t in a hospital with loads of things going on,” he said.
“The other thing is, I think that is wonderful for a child to have something a little bit quirky in their background – and what’s more quirky than being born on the train at platform 13 of St Pancras station?”
The former army officer had quipped on Twitter that his daughter’s arrival – which came two weeks early – presented plenty of jokes about Southeastern’s delayed services.
“Numerous jokes about early arrivals on SEastern,” he wrote.
Victoria is the couple’s second child together, and Bolton’s third daughter.
— Henry Bolton OBE (@_HenryBolton) May 15, 2016
Southeastern spokesman John Staples said: “On behalf of the whole company, I would like to send Southeastern’s very best wishes to the parents and family of a baby born on board our high speed train last night.”