Northern Service and Infrastructure Damaged after Vandals Throw Log at Train

Train operator Northern and infrastructure manager Network Rail have launched an appeal for information after a group of people threw a log into the path of an oncoming train near Bolton.

The incident occurred just before 6:30pm on 14 March 2022 on the Manchester side of the Farnworth Tunnel.

Log thrown into path of train at Farnworth Tunnel composite
Vandals damage train and overhead line equipment near Bolton

The log smashed one of the train’s windows and set off a brief fire on the service that was carrying more than 100 passengers. No one was hurt and everyone was safely evacuated. The train was moved away from the incident site last night to allow engineers to repair the damaged infrastructure.

More than 31 other services were delayed because of the vandalism. The incident is being investigated by the British Transport Police.

Chris Jackson, Regional Director for Northern, said:

“This was totally reckless behaviour by mindless individuals who gave no thought for other people’s safety.

“The consequences of a log hitting a fast-moving train are potentially devastating and I urge anyone with information as to the identities of those responsible to contact British Transport Police.”

In addition to the damaged train, the perpetrators damaged more than 200 metres of the 25kV overhead lines that power the trains and the structures and equipment that support them. Network Rail engineers spent the night working to repair the damage, which they have successfully done so that trains are now running through the area again.

However, Network Rail said there would be knock-on effects throughout the day, urging passengers using the line between Manchester and Bolton to check the latest travel information.

Phil James, Network Rail’s North West Route Director, said:

“I’m disgusted by this dangerous and reckless act of vandalism. The people responsible put the safety of our passengers and colleagues at risk. They have caused thousands of pounds of damage to the railway infrastructure and significantly disrupted services travelling between Manchester and Bolton.

“We are working closely with the British Transport Police to catch the culprits. I’d urge anyone with any information to contact them and make a report.”

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the British Transport Police by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40. People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Get your news featured on Railway-News

Please fill in the contact form opposite. A member of the team will be in touch shortly.

    We'd love to send you the latest news and information from the world of Railway-News. Please tick the box if you agree to receive them.

    For your peace of mind here is a link to our Privacy Policy.

    By submitting this form, you consent to allow Railway-News to store and process this information.

    Follow Railway-News on LinkedIn
    Follow Railway-News on Twitter