Three-foot reptile is found living on Southern Rail train and sends panicked police packing

Snake’s on a train! Three-foot reptile is found living on Southern Rail train and sends panicked police packing when they are called in to investigate

  • A three-foot long corn snake was discovered by staff at a train depot in Croydon
  • It had been living in the carriage for ‘some time’ before it was removed 
  • Police were ‘scared’ of the reptile and workers ‘got a bit of a shock’ 
  • Snake will be well looked after and sent to National Centre For Reptile Welfare

A three-foot corn snake caused panic when it was discovered living in a Southern Rail carriage. 

The reptile was found crawling along the carriage floor by staff at the Selhurst Train Depot in Croydon. 

They contacted the British Transport Police, who were not impressed by the slimy unexpected visitor. 

Workers managed to corner the reptile and put it into a bag to remove it from the Southern carriage.  

The snake was discovered on a carriage that would typically travel between London, Kent and Sussex

What to do if you see a snake 

Wild native British snakes should be left undisturbed as they are unlikely to attack unless provoked. 

There is no need to contact the RSPCA if you see a native British snake 

If you see an injured or unwell snake, you should contact the RSPCA. 

If you come across a non-native species of snake, you should stay well clear and contact the RSPCA’s advice line: 0300 1234 999. 

Source: RSPCA 

The animal was taken off the train by reptile expert Gareth North from Mitcham Zoo and will be sent to the National Centre For Reptile Welfare. 

Corn snakes are not venomous and are kept by many as pets. They are native to South and Central America. The species can grow up to 6ft in length. 

Mr North told The Sun that the creature had been living in the heating vent on the carriage for some time. 

He added that the British Transport Police had been frightened of the snake, which gave the workers who found it ‘a bit of a shock’. 

‘They [the police] arrived and checked in, saw the snake and basically ran out of the carriage.’ 

He believes that the slithering reptile may have been dumped by its owner. 

‘We really can’t be sure how the snake got on the train. There could be several reasons for it.

‘Trains are warm and the heating is on in those trains 24 hours everyday. Out in the open, it would have died because it’s too cold. It’s not native to this country.

‘It’s possible that someone has dumped it on but it’s also possible that it just escaped from a happy home and made its way onto the train while it was in the surface yard,’ Mr North explained.  

The animal welfare expert said the snake was dehydrated, which could mean it had been on the train for some time. 

He added that the snake was being assessed as it had some artificial injuries, most likely from slithering through heating grills. 

Users on social media found the discovery of the legless beast very amusing, with one suggesting that Mr North was now a ‘civil serpent’. 

Many related the incident to the iconic Samuel L Jackson film, Snakes On A Plane.  

‘Why would someone dump him? He’s beautiful too. I hope he hadn’t been there too long,’ one person said online. 

Another joked that the snake had been travelling with ‘British scail’. 

The British Transport Police and Southern Railway have been contacted for comment.