THIEVES have taken more than 900ft of copper power cabling from the railway line at Gunthorpe, near Oakham.
British Transport Police is appealing for information after the cable was stolen on Thursday night from the tracks, which run adjacent to the A6003 near the south shore of Rutland Water.
PC Steve Hopwood, from British Transport Police’s dedicated metal theft squad, said: “Luckily no trains were delayed by this theft but the costs to repair and replace the damaged cable have been estimated at £10,000. That’s £10,000 that Network Rail now cannot spend on improving our transport network.
“The irony is that the thieves are only likely to receive a minimal amount of cash for this stolen cable, that’s if they are able to sell it on at all.”
PC Hopwood said the police works closely with scrap yard owners to monitor cable which is brought in.
He added: “The act of stealing cable is an extremely dangerous crime which is costly to the rail industry and to the thousands of passengers who rely on the rail network.
“Technological and forensic advances are making life more and more difficult for cable thieves and are increasing the opportunities for British Transport Police to detect criminals.
“I would like to appeal to anyone who may have any information to contact police. We have also now stepped up patrols in the area to deter criminals from carrying out these mindless attacks on the railway.”
Anyone with information about this incident should contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting incident number 260 of July 27 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.