NETWORK RAIL are offering a £15,000 reward for information about an arson attack near Coventry.
British Transport Police (BTP) and Network Rail are offering the reward for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for a pair of suspected arson attacks which caused more than £500,000 worth of disruption and significant damage to the network.
Shortly after 1.30am on Saturday, May 2, a passing train driver reported seeing a fire on the line between Tile Hill and Canley stations.
But, just after police and fire crews who attended the scene had extinguished the fire, another blaze was discovered a mile down the track towards Tile Hill station.
All trains in the area were halted and the power turned off by Network Rail to allow fire crews and officers to extinguish the blazes and carry out thorough searches of the entire area – but did not find anyone.
In total, 75 trains were cancelled as a result of this incident, and a further 2,500 were delayed.
Since the incident, patrols have been stepped up and CCTV is being gathered from surrounding businesses and premises as BTP continues its investigation.
Sergeant Marcos Dominguez, leading the investigation, said: “This was an extremely serious incident and I urge anyone with any information which could help the investigation to get in touch immediately.
“There is a reward on offer for relevant and helpful information, and people are able to pass information to us confidentially if necessary.
“I want to hear from anyone who witnessed these incidents, or who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area late on the Friday night or early on Saturday morning.
“We believe both fires were started deliberately with the intention to cause damage and disruption to the rail network, possibly in connection with someone trying to steal railway cable.
“Luckily no one was injured as a result of these fires but the result could have been much worse.
Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040, or text 61016, quoting reference MSUB/B4 of 19/05/15.
Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.