Children playing on a Waikato railway bridge pelted a train engineer with stones and bottles when he stopped his train to express concern yesterday.
The KiwiRail driver needed medical attention after the incident on the Ngaruawahia railway bridge. The attack had been reported to police.
KiwiRail said it was concerned children were risking death playing chicken with trains on the bridge and using it as a platform for diving into the Waikato River.
The engineer on a freight train was so concerned with the number of young people on the bridge he stopped to speak to them, KiwiRail spokesman Kevin Ramshaw said.
In response, the young people threw stones, rocks and bottles at him - injuring him to the extent that he needed medical treatment.
Mr Ramshaw said the behaviour was unacceptable and the incident had been reported to police.
"Ngaruawahia has been a problem area for a number of years and we have worked with police and the community in the past in an attempt to address it," he said.
"We accept that there is a limited amount that authorities can do and that the solution lies largely in the hands of the community itself."