Police say it is lucky nobody was killed after a sandbag was thrown into a train’s windscreen near Wellingborough.
The sandbag smashed the windscreen of the train, which was heading north from London St Pancras to Sheffield on Wednesday evening (May 21), after being thrown from the Irthlingborough Road railway bridge just before 8.20pm.
The train, the 7.28pm service from London, was taken out of service after arrival at Kettering, forcing passengers to wait for the next service.
A reward of £1,000 has been put up by operator East Midlands Trains (EMT) for information leading to the identification and conviction of those responsible.
Inspector Mark Clements from British Transport Police (BTP) said: “The train involved, the 19:28 St Pancras to Sheffield service, was heading north leaving Wellingborough railway station, when the sandbag smashed both the outer and inner windscreen.
“Thankfully, the driver was not injured but has understandably been left extremely shaken by the incident.
“This was an incredibly irresponsible and dangerous act, and it was lucky no one was injured or killed.”
Insp Clements said officers immediately attended Wellingborough station after receiving reports of what had happened and also conducted house-to-house enquiries.
He added: “No-one was located but we are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
“I am appealing for anyone who was in the Irthlingborough Road area around the time of the incident and who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously, or running away, to contact BTP as a matter of urgency.
“We believe this was a deliberate act of vandalism that could have had tragic consequences.
“It is beyond belief that anyone could throw objects at moving trains and we need to trace those responsible before their actions result in serious harm to rail staff or passengers.”
Leicestershire MP Nicky Morgan was travelling on the train at the time of the incident.
She said: “This was a shocking incident and I am pleased to hear the train driver was not injured.
“All the EMT staff involved responded swiftly and very professionally and we were all lucky the consequences were not more severe. I would urge anyone with any information to get in touch with the police now.”
David Horne, managing director of East Midlands Trains, added: “This is a completely irresponsible and mindless act that put our staff and passengers at risk and caused significant damage to one of our trains.
“We are now working closely with the British Transport Police to find the perpetrators of this serious crime.”
Anyone with information that could assist police with their enquiries can contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting reference MSUB/B8 of 22/05/2014.
Alternatively, call the Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting the above incident reference.