Theft of signal cabling causes major disruption for Scots train travellers
More than 30 journeys were cancelled as a result of the theft, which saw 15m of cabling taken from a line between Inverkeithing and North Queensferry in Fife.
Services from Edinburgh to Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen had to be called off, along with several through Fife.
Disruption continued across the east coast into yesterday evening, affecting rush hour journeys between Edinburgh and Dundee. Trains to Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy and Thornton were also suspended.
British Transport Police were called in and have launched an investigation into the theft.
A limited number of replacement buses were put on but some travellers were advised to consider alternative routes.
A Scotrail spokesman apologised for disruption to customers as a result of the theft.
He said: “We are as frustrated as our customers that thieves have caused so many issues for people just trying to go about their day.
“We are working flat-out to get services back to normal as soon as possible.”
It’s though all affected services would be back up running as timetabled by today.
Originally 35 journeys were confirmed as cancelled, however operator ScotRail later reduced the number.
In a statement to travellers, the operator said: “Staff have identified that the cause of the signalling fault is due to theft of signalling cables.”
Cable theft is a massive problem for railways across the UK, costing millions of pounds each year.
Criminals target signalling cables because of their copper content, which has a high scrap value.
Britain’s rail network is designed so that trains are brought to a standstill when a cable is cut. This protects passengers but can lead to lengthy delays while the problem is found and fixed.
Thefts often take place at night and can see huge lengths of cable removed quickly.