Cable theft leads to rail misery for Norwich passengers

Cable thieves have been blamed for a day of disruption on the trains for people heading between Norwich and London on Sunday.

The theft, which caused signalling problems in the Brick House area of Chelmsford at about 2.15pm on Sunday, affected a total of 150 trains, including 27 cancellations, with the cost of compensation to operators estimated to be around �100, 000 to Network Rail.

A spokesman for National Express East Anglia said Sunday's incident, which caused 'huge inconvenience' for passengers, followed a similar theft on Friday which also caused problems for rail users in the region.

The spokesman, who revealed all services between Norwich and London were affected, said: 'We apologise for the delays. It's extremely frustrating and its not the first incident we've had of this type. Network Rail and the British Transport Police (BTP) are doing everything they can to try and prevent this happening, but it's an inconvenience and hugely frustrating for people.'

Anyone with any information about the cable theft should contact the BTP or Crimestoppers where they can report the crime anonymously and could receive up to �1,000 reward if their information leads to a conviction.

Andrew Munden, Network Rail route director for Anglia, said: 'Yet again, passengers across the region have been delayed by mindless thieves looking to make a quick buck at our expense.

'I cannot over-emphasise just how serious these crimes are. Cable thieves deny passengers the service they expect and deserve and, through the massive cost to the industry, deny everyone improvements to rail services.

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'We are doing everything we can to protect the railway and will continue to work closely with British Transport Police and other rail partners to deter thieves and bring those who attack our network to justice.'

Anyone with information about cable theft should contact BTP on 0800 40 50 40 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.