British Transport Police is calling on the public to help trace youths responsible for damaging a train as it travelled through Crewe.
At around 4.30pm on Saturday, 27 April, the Virgin Trains service from Preston to London Euston travelled towards Crewe when the driver noticed two youths running up the embankment near to a footbridge over the railway.
As the train approached the bridge one of the youths made a throwing motion, though the driver didn’t see any object actually being thrown.
Inspector Sonja Simister said:
“Shortly after passing through Crewe the train developed a fault and lost all power to the electrical systems on board.
“The train was stuck on the line for more than three hours before staff were able to restore some power and travel back to Crewe where the passengers were able to get off the service and catch another London-bound train.
“Investigations have since revealed significant damage to the train’s pantograph (a mechanism which draws power from the lines into the train) which, it is believed, was caused by an object striking the train.”
The damage caused is estimated at around £6,000, though the more significant factors were the delays to other services and the inconvenience to the passengers on-board the affected train.
Insp Simister added:
“We believe the youths spotted by the driver may be responsible for the damage caused and it is likely they threw something at the train. “Thankfully, though the incident is serious enough, the object thrown only struck the top of the train.
Had it hit a window then we could have been left with an incident which involved injuries to staff or passengers.
“From the description of the location given by the driver it is likely the damage happened as the train travelled through Coppenhall and I am now appealing to anyone with information – particularly anyone who saw youths hanging around near to the railway – to come forward.”
If you can assist the investigation in any way please call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. In all calls please quote log B6/NWA of 7/5/13.