Copper wire thieves force France's high-speed TGV to go slow
High-speed TGV trains heading south-east from Paris were back to normal on Friday morning after a signalling failure caused by thieves who cut cables to steal copper wire. Cable theft has become a Europe-wide scourge, the French railway company commented after a night of traffic disruption.
From 5.00 pm on Thursday there were delays of between one and a quarter and three hours on TGV trains heading south-east from Paris after thieves cut cables between Paris and Lyon, the SNCF rail company said.
“Thieves looking for copper cut cables” that allowed signalling to be controlled from Paris, it reported, forcing trains to travel more slowly than usual between the south of the capital and the north of Lyon.
A team of about 30 technicians was mobilised, as well as extra staff at stations in Paris, Lyon and Marseille and on Friday morning officials said that all trains were leaving and arriving on time.
“Thefts of cables along railway lines have become a scourge affecting all of Europe,” the SNCF said Friday.