An investigation is under way after a train ploughed into a pile of wheels and tyres left by vandals.
British Transport Police confirmed the Virgin Glasgow to Plymouth service hit the obstruction on Tuesday near Bolton-upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire.
The 150 passengers, none of whom were injured, were stuck on the train for four hours.
The train's fuel tanks were ruptured in the collision and 1,100 litres of fuel spilled onto the tracks.
Passenger Norma Jarboe said: "We were between Wakefield and Bolton-upon-Dearne when we heard a huge noise like rocks underneath the train.
"There was steam everywhere. Later we heard a fuel tank had ruptured."
A Virgin Trains spokeswoman confirmed that four fuel tanks had been damaged.
"It was a major act of serious vandalism," she added.
The train left Glasgow at 0900 BST. No other services were delayed as they were able to be diverted around the stranded train.
Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.