Birmingham & Black Country

Abbotswood stolen tractor crash causes train chaos

The tractor on the damaged bridge Image copyright SRT Photography
Image caption Trains were cancelled on Saturday while work to clear the damaged bridge was under way

A stolen tractor smashed through a railway bridge, scattering debris on the tracks below and damaging a train that passed minutes later.

Services between Birmingham New Street and Cheltenham were cancelled following the crash at Abbotswood, Worcestershire.

A man was spotted running from the tractor after it struck the bridge shortly after 21:10 BST on Friday.

Network Rail said services have been now restored.

A train travelling from Cardiff to Birmingham hit the debris at 21:30 BST and although it was damaged it did not derail.

Image copyright CrossCountry
Image caption A man was seen running from the tractor after it smashed through a railway bridge

The tractor had been reported stolen from a farm in Drakes Broughton, Pershore.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said Cross Country services south of Birmingham towards Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth, had earlier been cancelled.

"A tractor, believed to be stolen, hit and demolished the parapet above a railway bridge, causing debris to fall onto the track below," she added.

West Mercia Police said the suspect was described as a white man in his early 20s, wearing a purple hooded top and dark trousers.

Image copyright CrossCountry
Image caption Work is ongoing to make the bridge safe and remove the debris from the line below

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