The British Transport Police are appealing for information after a large metal grid and other items were placed on the railway line near Greasley Tunnel in Castle Greasley in Swadlincote.
Five teenagers were seen by tracks workers placing items on the line just outside the tunnels entrance at around 3.45pm on Thursday, September 1. The workers disturbed the group who then ran off.
Sergeant, James Paget, said “We are treating this incident extremely seriously. The grid was large and very heavy and was deliberately jammed into the tracks so it was stuck up. If it had been hit by a train the consequences could have been unthinkable.
“This was a mindless and criminal act and I would urge those who think that putting objects onto railway lines is fun, or a good idea, to think about the consequences of their actions, which could quite easily have resulted in someone being seriously injured or killed.
“We have launched an investigation into this crime and officers will be stepping up patrols in the area to try and catch those responsible, while we have also been conducting local enquiries into the incident.”
Hayley Bull, community safety manager for Network Rail, said: “The railway is not a playground and mindless acts like this could have life threatening consequences not just for those who are trespassing on the railway, but for the passengers traveling on board trains.
“The school holidays may have finished but I am urging parents to know where there children are going after school and to make sure they know the dangers of playing on the railway.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police by calling 0800 40 50 40 or texting 61016 quoting background log 206 of September 7, or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.