Officers were called to the line just outside Swinton railway station in Mexborough at 6.09am on Friday, 7 November, following reports that a train had struck a large piece of plant machinery. Officers believe the plant machine had been deliberately driven onto the track.
Detective Chief Inspector Iain Miller said, “The train, which was traveling at about 80 mph, stuck the machine, which we believe had been driven onto the tracks, and sustained extensive damage. The train was an empty stock train, no passengers were on board and the driver was uninjured.
“The incident resulted in disruption to services throughout the area on Friday whilst an investigation began to look at how the piece of machinery came to be on the track.
“We believe this was a deliberate attempt to derail a train. The fact that the train managed to stay on the tracks and upright after striking this obstruction is quite simply a miracle. The consequences if this had also been a busy commuter service would have been unthinkable.”
Detectives are now appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the incident to contact them as a matter of urgency.
DCI Miller added: “This was a reckless and criminal act. I would appeal to anyone who may have any information which may be able to assist us in finding those responsible to contact us.
“It is imperative that we find those responsible and bring them to justice as soon as possible.”