|Cable Theft Caused Chaos At Putney Station|
SW Trains confirmed 100 metres stolen in Twickenham area
Network Rail has confirmed that a signalling problem which has disrupted South West Trains services through Twickenham today (12 December 2011) has been caused by a serious cable theft incident.
More than 100 metres of copper cabling has been stolen, which has had a serious impact on South West Trains services throughout the morning.
Network Rail engineers are currently on site to identify how quickly the cable can be replaced to allow the signals to become operational again to allow South West Trains to resume its normal service.
Jake Kelly, Customer Service Director for South West Trains, said: “This once again highlights the serious impact that cable theft is having on the UK rail network and other parts of the country's infrastructure. We operate one of the busiest commuter rail networks in Europe. Along with our customers, we are extremely angry at the disruption that has been caused to passengers by mindless thieves trying to make a fast buck.
“We will continue to work with Network Rail and other industry partners to lobby for tighter regulation on cable theft to try and prevent rail passengers being disrupted by this criminal activity. We would also urge MPs to use their vote to support the Bill which has been put before Parliament proposing a licensing regime for scrap metal merchants."
Richard O’Brien, Network Rail Wessex route managing director, said:
Earlier this year, Stagecoach Group, which operates the South West Trains franchise, launched a campaign calling for tighter regulation against cable theft through the introduction of tough new measures, including new rules to clamp down on unscrupulous scrap metal dealers.
Cable theft on the rail industry has grown by around a third between 2008/9 and 2010/11 - despite a wide range of industry measures such as burying cables, use of CCTV, special identifiers on cables, invisible marking of cable, securing cable in place, the use of trembler alarms and a scrap dealer education programme in partnership with British Transport Police (BTP). Extra, dedicated BTP officers are also being recruited.