A criminal investigation has been launched after vandals caused a high-speed train crash in South Yorkshire by placing a large object on the line.
British Transport Police are investigating an incident that occurred in the early hours of Friday morning - bringing huge disruption to large parts of the rail network across the north of England.
Three crew members who were on the otherwise-empty CrossCountry train were ‘shaken’ but uninjured in the incident, which occurred before 6am on Friday morning.
The train suffered extensive damage to its front and undercarriage in the incident and could only be moved from the track at 5pm - with the blockage causing delays and disruption.
Richard Gibson, a spokesman for CrossCountry, said British Transport Police were now carrying out an investigation. He said he could not confirm what the object had been.
“The train was travelling at some speed. There were three members of staff on board who were shaken,” he said.
“The train remained on the rails but it was badly damaged and was recovered at 5pm and taken back to our main depot.
“There was damage to the front and underneath the train.”
The incident caused disruption to Northern Rail services between Leeds, Doncaster and Sheffield, CrossCountry services between Newcastle, Birmingham New Street and down to Plymouth and Reading, as well as First TransPennine Express services between Cleethorpes and Manchester Airport.
Replacement bus services were put on between Meadowhall and Doncaster and Meadowhall and Moorthorpe during the disruption.
No one from British Transport Police was available for comment today.