British Transport Police (BTP) is appealing for information after a sandbag was thrown from a bridge at a train near Wellingborough railway station yesterday (Wednesday) smashing through its windscreen.
A reward of £1,000 is being offered by East Midlands Trains for information leading to the identification and conviction of those responsible.
The sandbag, which was thrown at the train from a bridge on Irthingborough Road at around 20.18pm, smashed the windscreen, and resulted in the train being taken out of service.
Inspector Mark Clements from BTP said: “The train involved, the 19:28 St Pancras to Sheffield service was heading south leaving Wellingborough railway station, when the sandbag smashed both the outer and inner windscreen.
“Thankfully, the driver was not injured but has understandably been left extremely shaken by the incident.”
Following the incident, the train was taken out of service at Kettering, where passengers had to alight and wait for the next train causing major inconvenience for those on board.
Insp Clements added: “This was an incredibly irresponsible and dangerous act, and it was lucky no one was injured or killed.
“Officers attended Wellingborough station immediately after the incident was reported to us and immediately searched the area as well as conducting house-to-house enquiries. No one was located but we are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
“I am appealing for anyone who was in the Irthingborough Road area around the time of the incident and who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously, or running away, to contact BTP as a matter of urgency.
“We believe this was a deliberate act of vandalism that could have had tragic consequences.
“It is beyond belief that anyone could throw objects at moving trains and we need to trace those responsible before their actions result in serious harm to rail staff or passengers.”
MP for Loughborough, Shepshed, Quorn, Barrow, Sileby, Hathern, Mountsorrel Castle and the Wolds villages, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP was travelling on the train at the time of the incindent and said, “This was a shocking incident and I am pleased to hear the train driver was not injured. All the EMT staff involved responded swiftly and very professionally and we were all lucky the consequences were not more severe. I would urge anyone with any information to get in touch with the police now.”
David Horne, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said “This is a completely irresponsible and mindless act that put our staff and passengers at risk and caused significant damage to one of our trains. We are now working closely with the British Transport Police to find the perpetrators of this serious crime.”
Anyone with information that could assist police with their enquiries can contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting reference MSUB/B8 of 22/05/2014.
Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting the above incident reference.