Three trains hit shopping trolleys placed on tracks: EMR appeals for public help following reckless acts

  • EMR calling for the public's help after three reckless acts on railway tracks 
  • Four shopping trolleys hit by trains near Peartree
  • Acts endanger lives but also lead to trains being damaged, delayed, and services being cancelled

East Midlands Railway (EMR) is issuing a critical safety warning following a series of dangerous incidents involving shopping trolleys and pushchairs being left on the railway tracks between Peartree and Sunny Hill.

During May, three trains in as many days struck shopping trolleys that were left on the line, endangering the lives of both staff and customers.

On 8 May 2024, at approximately 22:36, a freight train struck a shopping trolley on the tracks. The driver was able to make the necessary repairs on-site and the service was able to carry on. 

The following day, on 9 May, a passenger service train struck two shopping trolleys in the same area. This incident resulted in significant damage to the train and caused delays affecting nine trains, accumulating a total of 131 minutes in delays.

On 10 May 2024, at approximately 18:57, a train struck another shopping trolley near the Caxton Street footbridge in Sunny Hill. Two children, around 8–9 years old, were seen trespassing in the area. The trolley became lodged under the train, and the journey had to be terminated.

The incident resulted in five full cancellations, six part cancellations, and delays to 54 trains, totalling 1224 minutes of delay.

Additionally, a pushchair was found thrown onto the tracks from the Caxton Street footbridge.

Lucy Gallacher, Emergency Planning Manager at East Midlands Railway, said: "These reckless acts must stop. They are incredibly dangerous for our customers and our staff. They not only have the potential to endanger lives but also lead to trains being damaged, delayed, and services being cancelled.

"Even though we are putting in place a number of measures to help address the issue, the public can also play a really important part.

"We are asking parents and guardians to educate their children about the dangers of playing near the railways or placing objects on them.

"To the wider general public, if they see any items being thrown at trains or someone placing items on the track, they should contact British Transport Police immediately by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40."

British Transport Police local Inspector Rich Kane said: "Any act of anti-social behaviour on or around the rail network is not tolerated and deliberate acts to harm or endanger the lives of others will always be a priority of ours.

"If you see anything that doesn’t look right or feel you or others may be in danger, please contact us."

Hayley Manners, Community Safety Manager for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “The railway is not a playground and we continually work with East Midlands Railway and British Transport Police to educate people of all ages about the risks of trespassing on the railway and carrying out actions like these.

“Deliberately putting things on the railway line can have severe consequences for passengers and train crew, putting their lives at risk. We would urge anyone witnessing this behaviour to report it immediately to British Transport Police.”

Contact Information

East Midlands Railway Press Office