CHUNKS of concrete were allegedly dumped on the railway track close to Port Glasgow station - on the same line where a train derailed 17 years ago.

One service hurtled over the top of a discarded slab early on Monday morning, smashing the rock to pieces, and a second driver stopped his train after spotting debris in his path.

He reported the obstruction to the control room and it is thought he managed to remove one of the heavy lumps of stone.

The Tele understands the items allegedly left on the line between Port Glasgow and Whinhill stations were troughing lids - which are used to cover cables at the side of the track.

Just last month, brazen thieves diced with death when they hacked through a live wire in the same area to steal 80 metres of copper cable.

The line runs between Glasgow and Wemyss Bay. In June 1994, a train derailed on the same stretch, killing two men.

Six people were on board the 10.35pm service from Wemyss Bay, which was derailed by concrete slabs before smashing into the Peat Road overbridge in Greenock.

Driver Arthur McKee, from Glasgow, and 21-year-old Greenock student Alan Nicol died in the crash, while four others were injured.

Following the latest alleged incident, which happened around 7.45am on Monday, one source said: "One train went over the top of the obstruction and destroyed it.

"A second train came along but the driver stopped and removed a chunk of what was left.

"There were delays to services as a result." Police were called and apprehended a man nearby.

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: "A 31-year-old man has been arrested and is the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal for allegedly placing material on the railway line between Whinhill and Port Glasgow stations in Inverclyde around 7.45am on Monday.

"He is expected to appear at Greenock Sheriff Court in due course."