‘Mindless thieves’ bring commuter train chaos to Ilford

Network Rail has called on the government to do more after “mindless thieves” again caused rush hour misery for Ilford commuters.

Services from Liverpoool Street were delayed for up to an hour last night, and did not stop at Manor Park or Ilford after a train struck a cable left hanging by thieves at about 4pm.

The collision left a main line blocked and resulted in a power failure around Manor Park, with one line closed for the rest of the evening as engineers worked to repair the damaged equipment. Seven Kings station was also closed to London-bound trains. Network Rail said today: “Yet again, mindless thieves have caused huge delays and disruption for thousands of passengers.

“To an extent our actions can help us manage the crimes but, despite our efforts, they continue to increase.”

The organisation spends some �2million per year defending the network from attack by opportunist thieves, funding extra police officers, cctv and forensic marking to try and combat the crimes.

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It seems they are fighting a losing battle, as metal theft continues to increase. It was the third time in a week that cable thefts have caused severe disruption on the Ilford stretch of the line.

A Network Rail spokesman added: “We believe that the only way to significantly reduce metal crime is to take away the illegal market and that more robust legislation and police powers are needed to achieve that.”

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