A hooligan sniper armed with a rifle unleashed a volley of shots at a train driver travelling into Leeds.
Luckily the repeated shots from the powerful weapon, thought to be an air rifle, did not fully penetrate the double skinned glass window of the driver's cab and he was uninjured, but shaken.
The pellets from the rifle shattered the outer skin of the driver's window, but did not enter the cab itself.
The attack, revealed now by British Transport Police, targeted the 5.06pm Sheffield to Leeds service as it passed beneath Newland Lane over-bridge south of the Normanton town station at 7pm on New Year's Eve.
Now BT officers are appealing for witnesses to the outrage in a bid to track down those responsible. Three youths were seen by the train driver standing on Newland Lane Bridge around the same time as the incident.
PC Alan Dean, the investigating officer based at Leeds station, said:"Several shots were fired from the air rifle causing the cab driver's outer window skin to smash. Luckily no one was injured, but this could have been very serious. This sort of behaviour is extremely dangerous and this offence could have easily resulted in serious injury to the driver, not just considerable damage to the train."
The officer stressed: "Those responsible are not only risking serious injury to passengers and staff, they are also risking an appearance in court and a criminal conviction for themselves. We have already made local enquiries and encourage anyone with information that could assist
our investigation to come forward and talk to us."
PC Dean added: "I am particularly interested in speaking to those seen on the bridge at the time. I urge anyone who knows anything about this incident or think they might know those involved to contact police."
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have information that can assist the investigation is asked to contact BTP on freefone 0800 40 50 40, quoting incident B5/NEA of 06/01/10, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.