British Transport Police (BTP) have launched an investigation after a train could have been de-railed as it hit a concrete slab placed on the railway tracks.

Officers have branded the act “reckless behaviour” from those responsible after the train hit the concrete trough lid near Kempton Park Bridge close to Hampton station on Thursday, October 17.

PC Jonathan Kenny, who is investigating the incident, said: “At 5.27pm we received a report from a passing train driver who informed us that he had hit a concrete object that had been placed on the line.

“From our enquiries, we believe that the concrete troughing had been removed from the railway before being placed on the line.

“Thankfully, there were no reported injuries following the incident and the train remained upright and on the tracks throughout.”

BTP have stepped up patrols in the area and is appealing for anyone with any information about who was responsible to come forward in confidence.

PC Kenny said: “I cannot emphasise enough the dangers associated with this type of crime. Not only is it reckless behaviour by those responsible, but it put lives in danger.

“This could have derailed the train, which could have resulted in serious injury - or worse - to passengers and rail staff.

“The train involved, the 5.10pm Shepperton to London Waterloo service, was damaged as result of this incident, which caused approximately 25 minutes of delays to services through the area in the busy rush hour period.

“This was a reckless and extremely stupid act by whoever placed these items on the line.

“I would appeal to anyone who may have any information which may be able to assist us in finding those responsible to contact us.

“Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in the area or know anything about this incident that took place on October 17?”

Anyone with information is asked to contact BTP on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting ref B2/LSA of 18/10/2013. Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.