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Stopped in their tracks: German & Belgian commuters delayed after wannabe thief cuts train cables

Stopped in their tracks: German & Belgian commuters delayed after wannabe thief cuts train cables
German and Belgian commuters are learning that even wannabe thieves can have a major impact on train traffic, after services were severely interrupted because someone tried to steal railway cables.

The cables were severed, not stolen, but the disruptions are still creating chaos for travelers on the busy Germany to Belgium via Aachen route.

“Although the theft failed, the consequences for train traffic are extensive,” a spokesman for the rail network operator Infrabel told Belgian news agency Belga.

The crime took place on Belgian soil, according to Spiegel Online. The Belgium side has set up a shuttle bus to help alleviate the pain of travelers.

Meanwhile, Intercity and regional trains from North Rhine-Westphalia were also affected, with routes being cut short at Aachen Hauptbahnhof, a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn said. Six Thalys trains to and from Paris also experienced delays due to the incident, RTL reported

Although the media outlets didn't specify which cables were cut, copper cable theft has long plagued the rail industry due to the metal's high market value. A 2017 British study found that railway cable theft occurs around five times a week in the UK, causing millions of dollars in losses every year. 

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