Southern rail passengers were left stranded after a stubborn swan refused to move from a railway line and brought services grinding to a halt.
The company tweeted passengers saying all lines had been blocked “due to a very stubborn swan”.
Trains were stopped for about 20 minutes shortly after midday on Monday and Southern told passengers their tickets would be accepted on replacement buses.
Power had to be cut to the rails between Brighton and Worthing while the train driver and a member of National Rail staff tackled the swan.
The pair managed to get the swan on board the train and it was taken to safety. It was allowed to travel without a ticket.
Pictures taken by an off-duty train driver show the swan being chased by a rail worker with a large pole.
Furious Twitter users complained to Southern that they had been left stranded on trains and waiting at empty platforms for up to 30 minutes.
One tweet from Southern updated frustrated passengers saying: “The swan sounds like it really didn’t want to move!”
A statement issued at 12.45 Southern said: ““Earlier today a swan took up residence on the track.
“Network Rail response staff have been able to convince the swan to board one of the trains in the area and the line has now reopened, however as services have been at a stand for approximately 40 minutes train carriages and crew will not be in the correct places to start their next journeys and it may take some time for trains to return to normal.”