'Downtown freeloader' raccoon catches ride on GO train

Another day, another raccoon problem in the Greater Toronto Area. If you see an animal on a train, Metrolinx would prefer if you did not try to get a selfie with it.

'Nobody checked to see if he tapped his Presto card,' Metrolinx spokeswoman says

Transit officer Tyler Kay says in his six years with GO Transit, he has never seen a raccoon on a train before. (Tyler Kay)

Another day, another raccoon problem in the Greater Toronto Area.

This time, it was a "downtown freeloader" stealing a free ride on a GO train heading along the Lakeshore West line from Union to Aldershot stations this morning, according to Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins.

"He was in Union [Station] and he was discovered in a coach," Aikins told CBC News. "He needed to be quarantined while he was removed."

A passenger spotted him and instead of stopping and delaying the train, officials decided to remove passengers from the affected coach and let the train continue on its way.

"He had an hour long nap, probably snoozed," Aikins joked. "Nobody checked to see if he tapped his Presto card."

Transit officer Tyler Kay snapped some photographs of the animal. He said in his six years with GO Transit, he has never seen a raccoon on a train before. 

"I'm not sure how it got on, frankly," the spokeswoman said, adding it may have gone on at the Willowbrook rail maintenance facility in Etobicoke.

"They can get through green bins," she commented, hinting at Toronto's long dispute with the garbage-eating critters. 

'Don't touch it'

The train ended at Aldershot where Burlington Animal Services took the animal off the train. No one was hurt in the encounter. 

If you see an animal on a train, Metrolinx would prefer if you did not try to get a selfie with it. 

"Don't touch it, don't think it's worthy of an emergency pull, but do look for staff," she said. "Get staff to help you."

And if you are concerned about the ruckus a raccoon may have caused on an 8:30 a.m. departure, Aikins said the mammal was quiet despite not being in the quiet zone.

"At least his feet weren't on the seats," she added.

If you spot an animal on a GO train, Metrolinx recommends notifying an employee and avoid doing an emergency pull. (Tyler Kay)

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