Appeal for information as items maliciously placed on the railway in Desborough

Monday, 24 August 2020

Multiple incidents have been reported of people placing items on the railway track which runs below Pipewell Road railway bridge, causing a danger to passing trains as well as the perpetrators involved.

On 29 June at around 19:00, a train was reported to have struck a child’s bicycle which had been left on the track, with a similar incident occurring on 30 July, when a train driver reported striking a wooden pallet. Then on 04 August, people were spotted trespassing on the line, with further reports of trains hitting debris.

Network Rail is warning people that it is extremely dangerous to trespass on the railway and can result in a £1,000 fine if caught.

Mark Clements, a British Transport Police Inspector, said: "Placing items on the tracks is extremely hazardous. Those involved are committing criminal acts which could have serious consequences and endangers the safety of trains. If you see anything suspicious on the railway, text us on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40.”

Paul Griffin, Head of Drivers for East Midlands Railway, said: "Whilst driving a train it can be extremely frightening to see something on the tracks ahead of you, knowing you cannot stop the train. You're not sure how much damage the item can cause to the train and it can be particularly stressful for those who have been involved with near misses in the past.”

Elisha Allen, Community Safety Manager at Network Rail, said: “This behaviour on the railway in Northamptonshire is extremely worrying, and it could have had fatal or life changing consequences. Railway lines are used 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week and you should never anticipate when the next train is due. Trains travel at high speeds, they cannot stop quickly or swerve out of the way and everyone loses when you step on the tracks.”

Anyone who has seen suspicious behaviour on or near the railway at this location is asked to text BTP on 61016 with information or call 0800 40 50 40.

Network Rail and British Transport Police run a hard-hitting safety campaign, You Vs Train, which highlights the dangers and the devasting consequences of trespassing on the railway - http://www.youvstrain.co.uk/.