Nobody was hurt during the incident with everybody onboard being safely evacuated from the train which was moved from the scene to allow repairs to the railway to be carried out.
Over 31 trains were delayed as a direct result of the incident which is under investigation by British Transport Police.
Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said:
“This was totally reckless behaviour by mindless individuals who gave no thought for other people’s safety.
“The consequences of a log hitting a fast-moving train are potentially devastating and I urge anyone with information as to the identities of those responsible to contact British Transport Police.”
The vandal’s actions saw the Northern train damaged as well as over 200 metres of the complex web of 25,000-volt overhead electric cable which provides power to trains alongside the structures which support the equipment and hold the lines in place.
Network Rail engineers worked right through the night in order to repair the wires with trains now running as usual through the area again.
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said:
“I’m disgusted by this dangerous and reckless act of vandalism. The people responsible put the safety of our passengers and colleagues at risk. They have caused thousands of pounds of damage to the railway infrastructure and significantly disrupted services travelling between Manchester and Bolton.
“We are working closely with the British Transport Police to catch the culprits. I’d urge anyone with any information to contact them and make a report.”
To report any information about the incident please contact British Transport Police by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40. To make an anonymous call, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.