Pictured: Strolling home down the main line...shopper casually wandering down track is picked up by train
By LUKE SALKELD
Last updated at 12:44 PM on 23rd June 2009
These dramatic images capture the scene as a woman casually strolls on to main line rail tracks on her way home from shopping.
She seemed oblivious to the potential dangers of walking along the line where high-speed trains regularly pass.
Fortunately for the unidentified 38-year-old, the alarm was raised and services halted.
One of those trains held up had stopped near a bridge when its driver spotted the woman.
He eased his train forward to meet her and then got down from his cabin, helping her aboard before giving her a lift to nearby Bristol Parkway.
The bizarre scenes were captured by trainspotter John Hobbs as he waited on a bridge to photograph a special service due to arrive from Birmingham.
School caretaker John, 61, from Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, said the mystery woman appeared to be very 'laid back' despite the danger.
He said: 'I heard some shouting from the tracks so I looked down and saw three guys wearing orange jackets shouting at this woman to get off the line.
'She had a few bags of shopping with her so I thought I'd take a few pictures because it was a very unusual situation.
'She was totally oblivious to the danger because she was actually walking along the mainline and it could easily have been electrified.
'I thought she must have been suffering from some sort of illness but when I spoke to the transport police afterwards they said she was absolutely fine.'
The unnamed woman, who lives in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, is thought to have walked off the platform at Bristol Parkway Station just after 9am on Saturday.
She then strolled for 650m along the track eastwards towards Winterbourne before a cross-country train driver picked her up at 9.20am.
Train services in the area were halted between 9am and 9.30am, causing travel chaos for thousands of passengers.
A British Transport Police spokesman has confirmed they are investigating the incident and revealed that the woman involved was not in a disturbed state.
He said: 'Nine times out of ten when you find people on the tracks it is down to mental health issues but as far as we know this woman wasn't in a distressed state.
'After she was taken back to the platform by a train driver our officers escorted her on another train to her home in Cheltenham.
'We have now reported her to the Crown Prosecution Service for trespassing and the case is in the hands of the prosecutors.'