Officers from British Transport Police are investigating after ballast was placed in front of a train in Nottinghamshire, leading to a large police response.
A train travelling from Nottingham to Birmingham New Street ran into the material on February 3 at Barrett’s foot crossing in the village of Attenborough.
It was feared that the had struck a person, prompting a large police response as officers searched the area for a casualty.
It soon became clear that a large amount of ballast - the stones beneath the track - had been placed on the rails.
The collision damaged the train, and costs of repairs are currently unknown.
The incident is being investigated and officers are now appealing for witnesses and any further information.
They would like to speak to anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area .
BTP Inspector Mark Clements: “Without doubt, those responsible put themselves at great risk. This is a very busy line with trains moving at speed. This act, as well as any other acts that involve trespassing, can and have ended in tragedy.
“It’s also important to note, this caused great distress to the driver of the train who feared they had struck a person. It also drew significant police resources to the area as we searched for a victim, resources that could have been deployed elsewhere.
“We’ll be carrying out increased patrols in the coming weeks and are currently working with schools in the area to ensure pupils are fully aware of the dangers of the railway.”