England

Warwickshire rail services delayed by cable theft

Rail lines in part of Warwickshire were put out of action for more than two hours by a signalling cable theft, Virgin Trains said.

Vandalism in the Nuneaton area, which also affected London Midland services, led to delays of up to 45 minutes with some trains being diverted.

All lines between Rugby and Nuneaton were blocked for two hours from about 07:45 BST, Virgin Trains said.

People were warned at lunchtime there could be delays of up to 30 minutes.

Delays involving trains between Nuneaton and Rugby were expected to continue until about 13:30 BST.

'Many repercussions'

Passengers were warned that some trains might be diverted between Stafford and Rugby via Birmingham New Street.

A Virgin Trains spokesman said: "In these cases [of cable theft] signalling systems fail safe and the signals turn to red.

"It then takes time for Network Rail engineers to get to the scene and make the necessary repairs.

"When an incident of this magnitude occurs, there are a lot of repercussions because trains and train crews are out of position because they have been disrupted."

The spokesman added: "Industry-commissioned analysis from Deloitte found the economic impact to the UK of metal theft on the economy to be between £220m and £260m each year.

"Of that, the cost to the railways alone reaches nearly £20m a year to replace lost cable and to compensate passengers and freight operators for the delays."

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