Posted 23rd November 2015 | 1 Comment

£30,000 reward for conviction of signal cable arsonists

A REWARD of £30,000 has been offered for the conviction of arsonists who disrupted train services in the West Midlands a week ago today.

Two fires were started at Canley in the early hours of 16 November which damaged signal cables and delayed hundreds of trains as a result, including intercity and local passenger services as well as freight.

The service on the West Coast Main Line in the Coventry area had to be reduced from six to two trains an hour while Network Rail engineers carried out emergency repairs. It was the second incident of its kind in the area this year, because there was a similar fire in May.

Network Rail and Virgin Trains -- one of the operators most affected -- said they were each offering £15,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the successful prosecution of those responsible.

Network Rail's route managing director Martin Frobisher said:  "We want help finding the person who did this. Monday’s fire caused misery to hundreds of thousands of passengers. We want to do all we can to stop this kind of mindless vandalism happening again. As well as causing huge disruption to customers, it also cost Network Rail more than £1.1 million in compensation payments to train companies, money which could have been spent on further improvements to the railway. So, please, if you know anything about this incident, let British Transport Police know as soon as possible.”

Phil Bearpark of Virgin Trains West Coast, said: “We owe it to our customers to work with our industry colleagues to do all we can to identify the perpetrators of such needless and costly vandalism. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding and our staff for their efforts to look after those whose services were affected."

Detective Inspector Gareth Davies from BTP pointed out: “This is not a victimless attack on railway infrastructure. It would have caused misery to a lot of people’s lives that day and we will never know the number of long awaited hospital appointments, job interviews or overdue family gatherings - all cancelled because of the mindless actions of one individual.

“Since the first incident in May, we have been working hard to find the person responsible, including house to house enquiries, CCTV trawls, media appeals and scenes of crime analysis.

“The railway is a dangerous place and whoever is doing this is putting themselves at great risk. I’m certain someone out there knows who is behind these attacks and I’d urge them to come forward – not only so we can put a stop to these crimes but also to prevent anyone from being seriously hurt.”

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • David Cook, Broadstone, Dorset

    When they are caught, they should be stuck away for the total time lost by all the passengers. 200,000 people losing just half an hour each totals over 11 years, and that is way under the total amount of time lost, but it puts the crime into it's perspective. That will give the mindless criminals cause for thought. And act as a proper deterrent.