A train driver narrowly prevented a potentially disastrous rail crash after vandals dumped concrete on tracks in Leeds.
He managed to bring the train – travelling at 90mph – to a stop moments before it hit the heavy concrete troughing lids that had been dragged onto the line in Kirkstall.
Insp Richard Price, from British Transport Police, said: “Five concrete troughing lids were ripped up from the side of the track and deliberately placed onto the tracks.
“Due to the quick thinking of the driver, the train narrowly avoided striking them, but this mindless act of vandalism could have been a lot worse.
“If the train had struck the troughing lids, it could have easily derailed, causing serious injuries or even worse.”
The incident happened just before 2pm on Saturday, September 15.
The train was travelling in the Pollard Lane area of Kirkstall when the driver spotted the concrete a short distance ahead.
He slammed on the breaks, bringing the train to a screeching halt just yards from the lids.
Insp Price added: “The driver and passengers had a lucky escape.
“We believe that more than one person may have been responsible for this reckless crime due to the weight of the lids as it would have been extremely difficult for one person to lift them on their own.
“I would appeal to anyone who may have any information which may be able to assist us in finding those responsible for this crime to contact us.”
Anyone with information should call British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 405040, quoting incident number 288 of September 15, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
As reported in the YEP earlier this month, there were 79 incidents of yob behaviour on railway lines in West Yorkshire during a six-week period this summer,
In one incident a metal cage and a pile of stones were pushed onto the Leeds to Bradford line. In another a brick was thrown through a train window in Listerdyke, Bradford.