A stolen farm tractor which smashed through a railway bridge caused chaos to train services. The vehicle caused debris to fall on the tracks below, which damaged a train travelling underneath. The Cardiff to Birmingham train hit the debris at 9.30pm on Friday, 13 May. Fortunately, it was not derailed by the incident but was damaged.
A man was seen running away from the tractor after it struck the bridge. West Mercia Police stated that the suspect, described as a white male in his early 20s, was wearing a purple hooded top and dark trousers.
Cross Country services south of Birmingham towards Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth, had been cancelled, said a Network Rail spokeswoman, although some services have now been restored.
"Following the incident, a train travelling from Cardiff to Birmingham New Street hit the debris at 9.30pm yesterday evening. There were no injuries and the train was not de-railed, but did sustain some damage. West Mercia Police attended the scene. We currently have a diversion in place and train services are likely to be impacted for most of the morning. Please check before you travel," she said in a Gloucester Citizen report.
She added: "A tractor, believed to be stolen, hit and demolished the parapet above a railway bridge, causing debris to fall onto the track below."
Cross Country Trains stated that all lines are shut between Birmingham New Street and Cheltenham Spa. Services are not running south of Birmingham towards Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth.
Passengers needing to travel towards these areas are advised to travel via Reading. Passengers travelling from the South West to Birmingham and the north are advised to travel via Reading. However, there is still a full service between Plymouth and Gloucester via Bristol Temple Meads.
The tractor was reported stolen from a farm in Drakes Broughton, Pershore at around 9.10pm yesterday evening and found abandoned shortly afterwards, according to Worcester News .
Any witnesses to the incident or who may have any information is asked to call West Mercia Police on 101 quoting incident number 773 of 13 May.