All aboard the possum express!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Rail travellers were treated to a rare sight on the Hornsby to Penrith line recently when a pair of ringtail possums were discovered quietly napping on board. 

Local WIRES volunteers Tracy Burgess and Kylie Canilleri were called to the rescue at 9.45am on a Sunday morning following a report of possums on a train heading for the Blue Mountains. 

The train had already left Central and scheduled to stop at at all stations from Parramatta to Penrith where it was due to arrive at 11.02am. WIRES was advised that once it arrived, there was only a 15 minute window of opportunity to contain the four-legged joy-riders before the train was scheduled to depart for the Blue Mountains.

All aboard the possum express!

With the assistance of Penrith station master Jason Outim, the carriage was cleared of human passengers and both exits were closedwhile the WIRES members quickly contained the adventurous pair with blankets then gently placed them into the waiting transport cages.  

After a bit of detective work by Transport NSW, it was determined that the ringtails must have climbed on board while the train was parked in the Hornsby maintenance yards overnight.

The WIRES rescuers took the wayward pair back to Hornsby the following day where they successfully released into the bushland the maintenance yard.

And Transport NSW kindly let this pair of fare evaders go with just a warning!

If you find an injured, orphaned or displaced native animal please call WIRES on 1300 094 737 and for more information or to donate please visit

All aboard the possum express!

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