British Transport Police (BTP) has described the moment a train stayed on the tracks after striking a pile of concrete troughing lids as a ‘miracle.’
The freight train crashed into several concrete troughing lids as it was approaching Blyth Road Bridge in Maltby at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.
The lids - wrapped in cable to hold them together - were deliberately placed on to the track before being covered in branches to disguise them.
PC Richard Ward, investigating officer, said: “We believe this was a deliberate attempt to derail a train. The fact that the train remained on the tracks after striking this obstruction is quite simply a miracle.”
“Unbelievably the freight train, which was fortunately only travelling slowly, wasn’t damaged and the driver, who was extremely shaken, also escaped uninjured. The running rail was cracked and damaged by the lids and had to be repaired.”
“The train could have easily derailed, causing serious injuries or even worse; the driver had a lucky escape. The consequences if this had also been a busy commuter service would have been unthinkable.”
PC Ward added: “This was a reckless and criminal act by whoever placed these items on the line. I would appeal to anyone who may have any information which may be able to assist us in finding those responsible to contact us. Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Saturday afternoon?”
“If so, I urge you come forward straight away as it’s imperative that we find those responsible and bring them to justice as soon as possible.”
If you have information about the incident – or those responsible – ring BTP on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 or text on 61016 quoting incident number 348 of 05/10/2013, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.