VANDALS have been branded “deplorable” after committing a railway prank which could have derailed a train.
The Northern Rail service was brought to a halt after it smashed into concrete drain covers which had been deliberately left on the track, close to Lytham railway station.
The train was damaged in the incident – which happened at around 5.08am, before the first passenger trains of the day began running – but British Transport Police have warned the consequences could have been far more serious.
PC Tony Greenwood, who is investigating the incident for the British Transport Police, said: “The train was travelling at around 50mph when it struck three concrete lineside drain covers on the line, close to Lytham station, resulting in damage to pipes underneath the train.
“Placing objects on the railway is an extremely dangerous and foolish act, which resulted in a train being damaged.
“We urge those who think putting objects on the rail tracks is fun to think about the consequences of their actions, which in this case could have been much worse.”
The incident happened on July 12 and Lytham councillor Kathleen Harper has blasted those responsible.
She said: “It is idiotic and things like this can do serious damage.
“I know the trains don’t go particularly fast on that line but it could still cause injury to passengers and I think it’s deplorable this could happen.”
The first passenger train of the day, bound for Preston, passes through Lytham shortly before 6am.
Police are appealing for anyone who has information or spotted anything suspicious in the run-up to the incident to contact them on 0800 405040 – quoting incident 56 of July 12 – or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.