Trains running between London and the north were hit with massive disruptions on Monday after thieves stole vital signalling cables.
The cable theft happened outside Sheffield between Doncaster and nearby Retford at around 10pm Sunday, and National Rail warned “major disruption” was expected to last until the end of Monday.
In an update on Monday afternoon, Network Rail said it hoped normal services would resume around 6pm.
December 5, 2022
A spokesperson said: “Some repairs have been made already but further damage was found during testing. Working to repair this and get trains moving normally again as soon as we can.”
Trains running between London Kings Cross, Scotland and the north of England - operated by four separate rail firms - are affected by the vandalism.
⚠️ Due to theft of signalling cables between #Doncaster and #Retford fewer trains are able to run on all lines. Train services running through these stations will be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 12:00 05/12. #LNERUpdate ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/gMrQW2L1Oy— London North Eastern Railway (@LNER) December 5, 2022
They include Grand Central services running between Bradford Interchange and London Kings Cross; Hull Trains running between Hull and Kings Cross; LUMO trains between Edinburgh and Kings Cross; and LNER services between Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Leeds and Kings Cross.
National Rail says the cable theft means fewer trains are able to run on the lines, meaning trains may be cancelled, revised, or by delayed by up to 40 minutes.
⚠️#LNERUpdate the image below is the damaged caused as a result of last night's cable theft. Resulting in the delays this morning. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.— London North Eastern Railway (@LNER) December 5, 2022
For delay repay applications visit: https://t.co/aLGzNf0u0z https://t.co/WaqxfYU52c pic.twitter.com/LtIoInUO1F
Passengers are advised to check rail provider websites before travelling.
Some have expressed frustration at the situation on social media.
Chaos on @LNER today due to cable theft. People travelling in awful conditions. Anyone found guilty of cable theft should receive a punishment commensurate with the huge social cost this crime causes.— Tom Bridges (@bridges_tom) December 5, 2022
One Twitter user named Tom Bridges wrote: “Chaos on @LNER today due to cable theft. People travelling in awful conditions. Anyone found guilty of cable theft should receive a punishment commensurate with the huge social cost this crime causes.”
British Transport Police has confirmed it is investigating the theft.
Stuck on a rammed train with a broken loo somewhere between Retford and Doncaster due to some stolen signalling cables disrupting services - which of course was not announced as we all squished onto the noon train after the previous train north was cancelled - thanks @LNER— Lucy Denyer (@lucydenyer) December 5, 2022
A spokesperson said: “Officers attended the line in Doncaster following a report from rail workers at 11.37am today (December 5) stating railway signalling cable had been stolen from the location. No one has been arrested in connection and enquiries are ongoing.”