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Seriously, on trains … amazing animal antics

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Tama - "The Station Master" - Image Credit: Wikipedia, Free Commons

Plenty of people take their pets with them when they’re travelling by train. But sometimes slightly more unusual animals are spotted at railway stations.

Read on for our pick of the funniest pictures and video clips of some surprising station wildlife – and if you’re heading off to the platform soon, don’t forget to check our journey planner for cheap train tickets, car hire and hotel rooms.

Keep moo-ving by taking the train

German commuters were stunned to find a cow waiting at the platform when they arrived at Steinfurt Station in February of this year.

After responding to calls from bemused rail travellers, the police successfully managed to track down the owners of the life-sized model bovine. Bernie Schmidt and his wife, who live near to the station, had been keeping the cow in their garden, as they considered it to be a classier alternative to a garden gnome.

But this unusual garden ornament had been pilfered in the night and placed on the platform for a jape by some – presumably worse for wear – jokesters.

Saddle up, it’s time to take the train

In May 2011, some horsing around at Wrexham Railway Station hit the headlines, after a man was spotted on CCTV trying to board a train to Holyhead, Anglesey, with a four-legged friend in tow.

The conductor refused to let the pair board the train, so they trotted off to the ticket office, where the man tried to buy two tickets – one for him and one for his pony. Unfortunately, horses aren’t allowed to board trains, so they were sent packing.

Purrfect platform etiquetteIn Melbourne, a cat called Graeme hit the headlines for his platform antics. Each day, the friendly feline heads off to the station with owner Nicole Weinrich and sees her safely onto her train to work. Then, later in the day, he heads back down there to pick her up and escort her home.

Sometimes, Graeme spends a little extra time at the station, lying in the sun and enjoying attention from the other passengers.

Tama the train station tortoiseshell

Graeme isn’t the first cat to have gained media attention for his train antics. Back in 2007, tortoiseshell cat Tama made the news when she was given the role of Station Master for Kishi Station in Western Japan.

Her role was to sit in front of the station wearing a black station master’s cap and pose for photos with train passengers and tourists – and she was paid with cat food rather than cash.

She was so successful at in increasing passenger numbers (and profits for the previously ailing Kishikawa line) that in 2008, she was promoted to ‘Super Station Master’ and given her own ‘office’ (a converted ticket booth, complete with litter tray). In 2010, she was promoted again to the position of ‘Operating Officer’, making her the first feline executive of a rail company.

In January of this year, Kishi Station unveiled its succession strategy for 12-year old Tama’s role – announcing the employment of an apprentice for the famous feline, ‘Nitama’ – or ‘Second Tama’. You can find out more about Tama by following CNN’s official reports.

Have you got any funny stories about animals at train stations? Please tweet or Facebook us and let us know…

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