RAIL bosses have condemned the vandals who endangered passengers’ lives by dumping objects on a train track.

British Transport Police were called to the lines close to Phoenix Bridge in Dovercourt at 5.08pm on Sunday following reports of youths placing items on the track.

Officers attended but no traces of the group were found.

The vandalism has been branded as “extremely dangerous” by rail bosses.

Rupert Lown, Network Rail Anglia’s director of safety, said: “The railway is an extremely dangerous environment with fast moving trains and high voltage electricity.

“If people ignore the safety warnings, they risk catastrophic injuries or even death.

“The youths who placed objects on the line at the weekend not only risked their own life but the lives of train passengers as the train could have easily struck the object – as well as causing delays to passengers while the object was safely removed.

He added: “It is never acceptable to go onto the track, and I would urge anyone if they have any information to contact the British Transport Police.”

A Greater Anglia spokesman also urged anyone with information to contact the police immediately.

He said: “People who put obstructions on the track are endangering their lives, and the lives of others.

“It’s incredibly dangerous to be near the tracks, and dumping objects on the line can have fatal consequences.”

Greater Anglia launched a safety campaign warning people against dumping objects on the tracks in 2017.

In 2016, a total of 69 objects - including pushchairs and a washing machine - were dumped on the Greater Anglia network.

A resident, who asked not to be named, said they have seen a lot of children running across the barriers of the train track in Dovercourt, putting their lives at risk.

He said he would like to talk to the vandals’ parents to warn them of the dangers they are putting themselves, and others, in.

The train tracks under Phoenix Bridge are used as the only track in and out of Harwich.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Any witnesses can contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 356 of 16/09/19.”