An appeal for information follows an attempted theft of cable in Todmorden on Saturday, June 8, which caused dozens of trains to be delayed.
British Transport Police PC Chris Lund said: “Around 7am, a passing train driver reported seeing cable lying across the track in Todmorden and loss of signalling in the area.
“Approximately 15 feet of cable had been taken from the line close to Phoenix Street, which we believe had been cut and was waiting to be collected by thieves.”
As a result of the attempted theft, 87 trains were delayed by a total of 899 minutes. Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the early hours of Saturday, 8 June is asked to contact officers.
Phil Verster, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: “Once again the irresponsible behaviour of greedy thieves has caused massive inconvenience to passengers in Yorkshire.
“Not only are they putting themselves in danger, they are forcing us to use slow and outdated methods of moving trains in order to protect passengers.
“The delay caused by these crimes costs us all millions of pounds every year through missed appointments and delayed freight deliveries. This is unacceptable.
“We are having success protecting our network better than ever using security patrols, CCTV and forensic marking.
“We will find the thieves and we will work with BTP to bring them to court and seek the toughest penalties.”
BTP has a dedicated team of officers working to tackle cable crime and said it is catching and prosecuting more thieves than ever before.
Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting B2/NEA of 14/06/2013.
Alternatively Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.