Thursday 21 Jan 2021
Tractor driver caught using railway as ‘personal sewer’ during floods
A tractor driver has been caught on video dumping suspected floodwater into a railway station car park.
The brazen act was filmed at Hartford Station near Northwich in Cheshire last night (Wednesday January 20) as floods ravaged the region.
The footage shows a tractor towing a slurry trailer being reversed into the station entrance. The driver then gets out to release thousands of litres of filthy liquid which cascades down the station access road and onto the West Coast main line below.
Storm Christoph had already forced the closure of several key rail links in the North West, but this act added Crewe to Warrington to the list, making life tougher still for Network Rail frontline teams battling against the elements to clear sections of flooded railway.
Floodwater can wash away the track foundation stone – known as ballast – making railway lines unstable.
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “When we were already struggling with Storm Christoph, this cynical opportunist decided to use the railway as their own personal sewer.
“Seeing this video made my blood boil. We will be working with police to take the strongest action possible against this tractor driver for damaging the railway, delaying people and goods, and potentially putting the lives of passengers and workers at risk.”
The video was filmed by a member of the public between 4pm and 8pm on Wednesday January 20.
It was sent to Network Rail and then passed on to the British Transport Police who are now looking into the footage.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
0330 854 0100
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.