Train operator reveals outbreak of reckless vandalism

East Midlands Railway has issued a critical safety warning after three trains collided with supermarket trolleys dumped on the line in Derby. A pushchair was also found.

In one case, two young children were seen trespassing on the railway nearby.

The incidents all occurred last month, but EMR has only now revealed the details.

The first was on 8 May, when a freight train collided with a trolley near Peartree at about 22.35. The driver was able to carry on, after clearing the obstruction.

The next day a passenger train hit two trolleys in the same area. No one was reported injured, but the train was damaged and nine trains were delayed by a total of more than two hours.

On 10 May, just before seven in the evening, a train struck another shopping trolley near the Caxton Street footbridge in Sunny Hill. Two children. thought to be about eight or nine, were seen trespassing. The trolley became wedged under the train and its journey had to be terminated.

The incident resulted in five full cancellations, six part cancellations, and delays to 54 trains, which amounted to more than 20 hours of late running. Meanwhile, a pushchair was found on the tracks under the Caxton Street footbridge.

EMR emergency planning manager Lucy Gallacher said: ‘These reckless acts must stop. They are incredibly dangerous for our customers and our staff. They not only have the potential to endanger lives but also lead to trains being damaged, delayed, and services being cancelled.

‘The public can play a really important part. We are asking parents and guardians to educate their children about the dangers of playing near the railways or placing objects on them.

‘To the wider general public, if they see any items being thrown at trains or someone placing items on the track, they should contact British Transport Police immediately by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40.‘

British Transport Police local Inspector Rich Kane added: ‘Any act of anti-social behaviour on or around the rail network is not tolerated and deliberate acts to harm or endanger the lives of others will always be a priority of ours.

‘If you see anything that doesn’t look right or feel you or others may be in danger, please contact us.’

Network Rail community safety manager Hayley Manners said: ‘The railway is not a playground and we continually work with East Midlands Railway and British Transport Police to educate people of all ages about the risks of trespassing on the railway and carrying out actions like these.’

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