Northern Rail is offering a reward of £1,000 to catch vandals after a train struck a large metal bin in the area of Harecastle Tunnel, Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday, 7 February.
The incident was reported by the driver of the 2048 hours Manchester to Stoke train just before 9.50pm.
Two passengers were on the train but there were no injuries to anyone on board. However the driver was shaken by the experience and the train was taken out of service.
“The train was travelling at around 70mph when it struck the metal bin,” said Detective Inspector Steve Lewis.
“The bin caused a good deal of damage and completely disabled the train. We believe this was a deliberate act of vandalism that could have had much more tragic consequences.”
Gemma Colley, Public Relations Manager for Northern Rail, said: “We are relieved neither our passengers or crew were injured by this act of mindless vandalism and we were able to move our passengers onto an alternative service within half an hour of the event taking place. We will work closely with British Transport Police to identify those responsible and urge anyone with any information to come forward before this happens again.”
The passengers were transferred to another service and the train was eventually recovered shortly before 2am. Whilst recovery took place, trains were diverted and a number of trains were delayed.
The reward is being offered for information leading to the identification and conviction of those responsible. Anyone with information can contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting reference B14/NWA of 9/02/12 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
British Transport Police – North Western Area
t:0161 200 8362
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British Transport Police is the specialist, national police service for Britain’s railways. BTP deals with major and minor crime, disorder and incidents, and covers the rail system in England, Wales and Scotland, including London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the Glasgow Subway and the Midland Metro and Croydon Tramlink systems. Its 2,914 police officers, 322 Police Community Support Officers, 190 Special Constables and 1,316 support staff are recruited and trained like those of local forces and have the same powers. Find out more at www.btp.police.uk
The North Western Area of British Transport Police covers the National Rail system throughout the north west from Stoke to the Scottish border. It employs 269 police officers, 34 Police Community Support Officers, five Special Constables and 55 support staff.