A FARE-dodging owl travelled 175 miles after it hitched a lift on the outside of a train from north Lancashire to Northamptonshire.

The tawny owl started its journey at Carnforth and stayed on the train, which set off from Glasgow, reaching speeds of 75mph.

It was found by train workers between the train’s locomotive engine and the first wagon at Crick and taken under the wing of Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary, where staff named the bird Lucky.

Owner Geoff Grewcock said the bird had been placed into a cardboard box.

“It was fine but it was lethargic and cold so we gave him some warm water with sugar and some mince beef,” said Mr Grewcock. “He also had a slightly damaged wing.”

And though it had not been trapped, it was unable to fly off its perch due to the wind force.

Train driver Nathan Beahan, who works for Carlisle-based Direct Rail Services, said: “That gap is a pretty cold and windy place to be when the train’s moving.”