Couple complain after train doors close suddenly – leaving them on the train while their children were stranded on the platform

Parents Claire and Paul Leighton said they suffered a heartstopping moment when the train they had just got on suddenly pulled out of the station, leaving their three young children stranded on the platform.

The pair say they could see their youngsters, aged between five and ten, crying but could do nothing to raise the alarm to get the driver to stop the train. They say they got on at a remote New Forest station at around 9.30am, only for the doors to close so suddenly that their children were unable to follow them.

Paul, 45, rushed off the train as soon as it stopped at the next station four miles away and caught a taxi back to their original station. He found his children in tears, but being looked after by a member of station staff who had realised their plight.

Broken legs

He said he had been helping his wife to board because she is on crutches haveing broken her legs, when the doors suddenly closed. Claire’s sister raised the alarm after her sister sent her a text. She had been waiting for the family to arrive at Bournemouth station.

She said she immediately told staff at Bournemouth station what the situation was and they contacted their counterparts at Hinton Admiral.

A spokesperson for South West Trains has said that the firm is now looking into the situation and will be examining any CCTV footage to see exactly what happened. The couple have said that they could not understand how the train could move off when it was obvious that there were three children standing alone on the platform. However, people commenting and on social media have questioned why the parents did not get the children on the train at the same time as the mum was being helped on.

Judith is a qualified journalist who has worked in both the UK and the US, specialising in writing about politics, education and health.