Cable thieves caused London Bridge rail disruption

by Ella FAIRCHILD on September 7, 2011

Thousands of commuters suffered delays today after signal cables were stolen close to one of London’s busiest train stations.

Around nine metres of cable was ripped out close to Millwall’s football stadium, southeast London, in the early hours of this morning. Network Rail explained that the theft would be the cause of severe disruption throughout the day on trains provided by Southern and First Capital Connect that travel to and from the popular London Bridge station.

The British Transport Police are investigating the theft, originally reported at 02:48 BST. A spokesman explained how officers are making enquiries into this incident and wish to speak to any of those that were in the area at the time.

The thing the thieves don’t known is that they’re working on live cable, which carries up to 25,000 volts and can cause extensive burns, he contiunued, and through attempting to steal it, all they are doing is seriously putting their livelihood at risk.

Network Rail said that cables replacing the ones that were stolen this morning had to be reconnected, with each of the individual cores being tested before signalling was able to safely be restored. Robin Gisby, the company’s operations chief, commented that mindless thieves have yet again caused delays and disrupted the travel plans of thousands of commuters.

Cable theft is going to cost the rail industry £40m over the next three years, which is money that could otherwise be spent on our rail network, Gisby added.

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