Figures from British Transport Police revealed vital equipment required for the safe and efficient running of Scotland’s railways was stolen in 100 different cases since 2008.
SNP MSP Stuart McMillan said: “This blatant disregard for the safety of others is frightening.”
He said he was pleased the Scottish Government planned to toughen the licensing regime for metal dealers.
He added: “Tightening of these laws will bring nearly all metal dealers into the scope of licensing by dramatically increasing the level of turnover required for exemptions. It is clear the current legislation is not working which is why it is essential we send a clear message to metal thieves their actions are not acceptable.”