BRITISH Transport Police are hunting vandals who put lives at risk by dropping a concrete slab on to a passing train at Hartford.
The incident happened at about 7pm last Monday as the train passed through Hartford on its way to Lime Street station in Liverpool.
Staff on board noticed electrical problems shortly before the train suffered a total power failure at Acton Bridge.
Examination of the train revealed the pantagraph, which takes power to the train from the overhead cables, had been wrecked.
Concrete debris was found on the roof of the train together with the remains of a paving slab.
BTP sergeant Sean Morgan said: “The damage caused to the train is unacceptable and the resulting power failure caused major upheaval for the passengers on board and the network in general.
“It is only through good fortune that we are not now dealing with a much more serious incident.
“Even a small stone thrown at a moving train can cause serious injury if it hits a window or someone on board.
“One can only imagine what would happen if a paving slab did the same. The offenders have, without doubt, put lives at risk.”
It is believed the concrete was thrown at the train from a bridge on Hodge Lane, which crosses the Liverpool line to the north west of Hartford Station.
At 11am on Thursday two prams were thrown off the bridge from Hodge Lane at another passing train, the 9am service from London to Liverpool.
Investigators say they ‘certainly believe the two incidents are linked’.
Witnesses are asked to call British Transport Police free on 0800405040.