Witness plea after objects were deliberately left on train track

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BRITISH Transport Police (BTP) officers are appealing for witnesses after a train hit items that had been deliberately placed on the line near Atherton.

At around 6.45pm on Sunday, February 1, the 6.11pm service from Manchester Victoria to Wigan Wallgate struck several items that had been left on the track at Atherton Signal Box, narrowly avoiding damage to the train.

On investigation these items were found to be two 25 litre drums containing water and two bags of cement.

Investigating officer PC Carl Roach said: “It was extremely fortunate there were no injuries to passengers and that the train was not damaged. This could have so easily been more serious. It is vital we find those responsible for this reckless and dangerous act. We will use all necessary resources to find them and bring them to justice.

“Acts like this that potentially put the lives of rail staff and passengers in danger will simply not be tolerated. We urge anyone who knows anything about the incident, or who might have seen any suspicious activity around the time of the incident, to come forward to help us with our enquiries

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting background reference PSUB/B3 of 6/02/15. Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.