Northern voices fears over increased incidents of bricks thrown at trains


More than 40 bricks, stones and rocks have been thrown at Northern trains from bridges and embankments over the last year.

The story gets worse, because 27 shopping trollies, pushchairs and even bicycles have been deliberately pushed onto the
track in efforts to cause damage
or disrupt services.

Northern has published an online map to show the location of each incident, and is working with police to identify the culprits. It believes they normally operate in gangs.

“It’s bewildering to think some people find targeting trains in this way is some kind of sport, and the fact it’s happening more than once a week is shocking,” said Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern.

“While the 69 affected services represent less than 0.01% of our annual fleet movements, the impact on those caught up in one of these events is significant.”

In February, Northern driver Ian Birch had his cab window shattered by a brick thrown in Clifton, Greater Manchester. And in June, a 15-week-old baby was showered with glass after a train was attacked while approaching Hull.

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