Thursday evening, October 17, a Montana Rail Link locomotive was slightly damaged when it ran into an obstruction that had been deliberately placed in its path on the railroad tracks near Clinton.

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost said the train was eastbound when the incident occurred.

"Last Thursday evening, one of our MRL trains was eastbound near Clinton when it struck an obstruction on the tracks," Frost said. "It did create a problem, in that the obstruction flew up and broke the windshield in the locomotive. However, there were no injuries reported in this incident."

Frost said the obstruction was large and heavy, and placed on the tracks deliberately.

"It was somewhat of a homemade culvert-style object that was filled with gravel which turned out to be quite large and heavy," Frost said. "It caused quite an impact when the locomotive hit it. Over the past few weeks, we've had similar incidents in the same one-mile radius."

Frost said investigators have an idea of who may be responsible for the incidents of vandalism.

"We're working very closely with the Missoula County Sheriff's Department," Frost said. "We've made some progress and we think we have a pretty good idea of the culprits."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Missoula County Sheriff's Office at 258-4810, or Missoula Crimestoppers at 721-4444.

Montana Rail Link Spokesman Lynda Frost: