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Train operator’s cash offer in return for information about yobs attacking trains
Bradford’s biggest train operator last night offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to the identification and conviction of yobs responsible for a spate of attacks on trains.
Northern Rail put up the reward after police warned it is “only a matter of time” before a train is derailed or someone is killed after a spate of attacks where children have placed items on tracks on routes into Bradford.
British Transport Police said yobs are putting their lives and others at risk after a catalogue of incidents where troughing lids, stones and a TV have been placed in the path of trains in the Calverley area over the past six weeks.
Insp Richard Price, of BTP, said: “I really cannot emphasise enough how dangerous this is, and I am very concerned that if we don’t find these destructive vandals someone is going to get seriously injured or even killed.
“Placing objects on the tracks is incredibly dangerous – these vandals are putting their own lives at risk by trespassing on the tracks, as well as placing passengers and rail staff in danger.”
On Saturday, September 15, at 1.50pm, the 1.31pm Bradford Forster Square to Leeds service narrowly avoided striking five troughing lids which had been placed on the tracks near to Kirkstall Forge in the Wyther Lane area.
A few hours later, at 4.30pm, a number of troughing lids were placed back onto the track in the same location.
A BTP spokesman said drivers had been alerted about the previous incident and were proceeding on caution through the area, so the driver of the 4.10pm Ilkley to Leeds service saw the lids and stopped the train before removing them from the track.
On Tuesday, September 18, at 7.36pm, police received reports of the 7.19pm Leeds to Ribblehead service striking a TV which had been placed on the line near to Pollard Lane in Newlay.
The next day, at 5.48pm, the 5.26pm Leeds to Ilkley service struck a metal bar which had been placed on the tracks near to Calverley overbridge. Minor damage was caused to the front of the train.
Then, on Thursday, September 20, at 7.20pm, the driver of the 7.02pm Leeds to Ilkley service reported seeing children placing stones on the line and hearing children’s voices in the wood in the same area close to Calverley overbridge. Police searched the area but no-one was seen.
On Sunday, September 23, at 7.25pm, the 7.08pm Leeds to Skipton service struck tree branches which had been dragged on to the track near Pollard Lane in Newlay.
In all the reported incidents no passengers or rail staff were injured.
Anyone with any information should contact BTP on 0800 405040, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.