South Wales cable theft rail delay arrests
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of stealing railway cable, causing delays for passengers in south Wales.
Arriva Trains Wales said the theft between the Severn Tunnel junction and Newport resulted in a signalling problem on Friday morning.
It led to hold-ups of about 10 minutes on Friday morning on routes between Cardiff Central and Gloucester, and Cardiff Central and Bristol Parkway.
The arrested men, aged 20 and 27, are from Newport.
British Transport Police said they were made aware of signalling problems in the area at 03:19 BST on Friday.
End Quote Mark Langman Network Rail
Cable theft costs the rail industry around £19m a year - costs which are borne by rail users and the taxpayer”
Officers, including a police dog handler, were sent to the scene where they discovered that a section of signalling cable had been stolen.
After searching the area, the two men were arrested on suspicion of theft of railway cable.
They were both due to be interviewed on Friday afternoon.
Police said they wanted anyone with information about the theft to come forward.
Det Insp Mark Cleland, of British Transport Police, said those who stole railway cables would be convicted.
"The theft of railway property causes severe disruption to the everyday lives of the travelling public and has huge financial implications for the local economy; it really is an attack on the community.
"Stealing cable is also an extremely dangerous act which is costly to the rail industry and to the many thousands of passengers who rely on the rail network across South Wales.Police dogs
"We will continue to have a high visibility presence throughout the area, including officers patrolling on foot, in vehicles and with police dogs, to catch and deter criminals.
"We are out and about at known hotspot locations on the trail of thieves and will continue to take action against them, using all legal means to put them before the courts.
"Recent cable attacks on the railway have resulted in a number of high profile convictions and I would warn anyone considering this type of criminality that they are likely to receive a significant custodial sentence."
Network Rail's route managing director Mark Langman said: "This theft involved the cutting of signalling power cable and it was only through the quick work of our engineers that we were able to restore power within two and a half hours of the incident and run a full service.
"Cable theft costs the rail industry around £19m a year - costs which are borne by rail users and the taxpayer."