Friday 7 May 2010
TRIPLE TROLLEY RAIL VANDALS RISK LIVES
Witnesses are urged to come forward after passenger journeys were disrupted and a passenger train damaged by vandals near Cheltenham Spa, last night, 6 May.
At 2200 yesterday, a train driver reported striking three shopping trolleys under the Tewksbury road bridge. One of the trolleys was wedged under the train, carrying 40 passengers, and caused damage to the engine.
The train had to be stopped so that the trolleys could be safely removed from the railway line. As a result, the incident disrupted the late night passenger services on the line between Cardiff Central and Birmingham.
Andy Coston, area general manager, Network Rail said: "This was an extremely dangerous act. The vandals responsible not only risked their own lives but also those of other people. The actions of these people could have resulted in extremely serious consequences. We are taking this matter very seriously and now working closely with British Transport Police to catch these criminals and prevent crimes across Britain’s rail network."
Inspector Andy Irwin-Porter, of British Transport Police, said: “I cannot emphasise strongly enough the dangers associated with this sort of criminality. The passengers and rail staff on board were placed in serious danger by the actions of those who threw the trolleys onto the line. Fortunately on this occasion no-one was injured, but we may not be so fortunate if this happens again.
“We are urging anyone who was in or around the area to contact us on 0800 40 50 40 if they saw anything suspicious or if they have any information that may help us with our enquiries.”
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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.