London

Paddington services return to normal after cable theft

A First Great Western train
Image caption Thousands of passengers were affected when the cable was taken

Mainline rail services from London Paddington station have returned to normal after stolen signalling cable disrupted trains.

Only one train an hour ran in each direction between Paddington and Oxford, Penzance via Bristol, Swansea and Castle Cary, for Glastonbury.

Thousands of passengers were hit when the cable was taken from West Drayton, west London, on Wednesday.

Wednesday's tickets can be used instead on Thursday, First Great Western said.

About 300ft (90m) of signalling cable was stolen.

'Drastically cut'

The theft had a knock-on effect for Wednesday evening's rush-hour and also affected plans for those travelling to screenings of England's World Cup match against Slovenia.

The vandalism meant all signals on the four lines in and out of Paddington were affected and services had to be "drastically" cut, a Network Rail spokesman said.

As a result only one of the four lines could be used fully, with one completely out of action and two partially disrupted.

The cables have now been reconnected and engineers will worked through the night to test them.

Commuters in London also faced potential disruption on Wednesday evening because of a 48-hour strike by Tube maintenance workers which started from 1900 BST.

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