Monday 31 Mar 2003


Region & Route:
Network Rail is offering a reward of £5,000 for information leading to the successful prosecution of vandals who derailed a passenger train in Carr Mill, St Helens on Saturday morning (29 March). Some time during Friday night, a number of railway sleepers had been placed across the track. Shortly after six o’clock the following morning, the 0535 service from Liverpool Lime Street to Wigan North Western hit the sleepers causing the front wheels to come off the track. Fortunately neither the driver and guard, nor the three passengers on board were injured and the two-carriage Class 142 diesel train remained upright. The rail lines between St Helens and Wigan remained closed for the entire day and reopened at lunchtime on Sunday (30 March) following removal of the derailed train and repairs to the damaged track. Tim Clarke, Network Rail’s Regional Director said: “This was a calculated, deliberate attempt to derail a train which could so easily have ended in tragedy. Whoever put the sleepers on the tracks needs to be caught to ensure they don’t do the same thing again. Obviously, because it was done at night nobody actually saw whoever was involved. However, somebody must know something which is why I am prepared to offer this reward.” - more - Reward – 2 Anyone with information can call the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or, if they prefer, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. All calls are free. Network Rail is keen to point out that a derailment of this nature is a rare occurrence. As a result of a concerted effort by the train operators, British Transport Police and Network Rail staff, there has been a substantial fall in the amount of railway crime in the North West. Many millions of pounds have been spent on renewing railway fencing to prevent people getting on the tracks and a further £5m is earmarked for 2003/4.

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