Dog who raced NYC train is reunited with her rescuers

Train engineer Joseph Delia slowed his cab when he saw the dog, “like she didn’t have a care in the world,” darting back and forth ahead of it. (Photo credit: Joshua Bright/The New York Times)

On the morning of April 8, New York City commuters traveling from the Bronx into Manhattan noticed something furry running alongside their MTA train. Craning their necks to get a better view, they realized a very quick little dog was racing the speeding train, almost toying with it.

Around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, commuters watched in awe as the small Collie German Shepherd mix sprinted next to their train for about a mile. The train engineer, Joseph Delia, slowed the train to a crawl as the feisty pooch began darting between the tracks. Delia noticed the poor dog seemed to be limping, and he simply followed behind her as she stepped across the railroad ties. He later told the Washington Post the dog was running “like she didn’t have a care in the world.”

A dog lover himself, Delia held his breath, hoping beyond hope that the little pup wouldn’t touch the electrified third rail.

“She’s not a very big dog. I was worried she wouldn’t make it and get electrocuted,” Delia explains.

As the Hudson Line Train No. 446 pulled into the 125th Street station, the MTA operations control center sent some of their employees to go rescue the brown and black Collie mix from the train tracks. Commuters looked on in anticipation as a Metro-North crew tried to lead the dog to safety.

MTA police officers Errold Borges and Luis Alvarez gently called to the pup, whistled to her, coaxing her from the train tracks and onto a small staircase at the south end of the train station platform. The crowd of commuters-turned-spectators let out a resounding cheer, knowing the Hudson Line Hound had finally been rescued.

Officers Borges and Alvarez decided to name the little train-racing dog Tie, after the railroad ties she crossed and re-crossed that morning.

“At first she appeared frightened, but started wagging her tail,” Officer Alvarez remembers. “Having a dog of my own, I could tell she was very friendly.”

Not only was the Collie mix friendly, but she was clearly very smart, showing her rescuers that she can speak, sit, and shake her paw on command. Because of her charming personality and obvious training, and because she was in good condition and seemed well-fed when she was found, the two officers believe Tie must have an owner out there somewhere.

“We’re hopeful that the dog’s owner will come forward and reclaim the dog,” Officer Borges told the New York Post Wednesday, when the two MTA cops had a happy reunion with the dog they rescued.

Tie, cleaned up and tail wagging, wore a bright pink bandana as she posed with Officers Borges and Alvarez. Officer Alvarez says he likes Tie so much that he would consider adopting her if no owners come forward.

“I was so happy that we were able to recover the dog,” he says. “I would love to take her home.”

For now, Tie is being cared for by the Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C). She has no tags and no microchip, and shelter staff believes she is about 3 years of age. The AC&C plans to place Tie up for adoption should her owners fail to come forward by Friday.

“We’re grateful to all those involved in Tie’s rescue,” AC&C Executive Director Risa Weinstock wrote in a statement. “While it’s not every day a dog is rescued from train tracks, every day every one of us can make a difference for an animal in need, by adopting one of many other dogs (and cats and rabbits) or volunteering or donating.”

Sources: New York Post, Washington Post, MTA.info