After a record number in 2022, network operator Infrabel sees the number of cable thefts at the railways finally decreasing this year. This decrease is largely due to actions in collaboration with the railway police, it was said on Wednesday.
Today at 04:21
In 2021 and 2022, the number of cable thefts increased 300 percent. Last year, Infrabel clocked up 466 cases. A severed cable means that a train track becomes impassable, resulting in delayed or canceled trains. In 2022, this meant a total of 33,169 minutes of delays, or an hour and a half per day. Moreover, the thefts cost Infrabel almost 7 million euros.
But the trend is slowing. So far this year, 85 cable thefts have occurred, resulting in 11,202 minutes of delays. That is much less than in previous years in the same period.
Most of the missing cables are made of copper, a metal that rose sharply in value at the beginning of 2022. Although the price is still high, thefts have decreased.
Infrabel thinks that the nightly inspection actions of the railway police probably have something to do with this. In addition, Infrabel installed GPS trackers this year, allowing the location of cables to be communicated in real time and therefore quickly traced to suspects. Alternatives to copper are also being sought.