First Capital Connect driver prevents track theft

The actions of a First Capital Connect driver this week led to the arrest of a suspect who was in the process of stealing railway equipment on the side of a tracks line near Peterborough.

Nigel Pilgrim, based in Peterborough, was driving a King’s Cross to Peterborough service on the evening of Monday 24th January when he was alerted by a Network Rail signal controller of sparks on the side of the track between Huntingdon and St Neots.

When passing the scene Nigel was able to identify someone at the trackside trying to hide. However the lights of the train illuminated the registration plate of the thief’s car and Nigel was able to note it down. He reported the number back to the Network Rail signaller who in turn alerted the British Transport Police, where the number was traced and an arrest made.

Figures published by the Association of Train Operating Companies this month revealed that during the 12 months to October 2010, vandalism and cable theft caused nearly 10,000 trains to be cancelled entirely or cancelled part way through a journey – representing a 40% rise on the previous 12 months.

Tony Holland, FCC’s Crime Prevention Manager, said:

“Line side theft is a serious problem for the rail industry and can cause of hours of delays for passengers. Nigel did an excellent job and First Capital Connect cannot thank him enough for his efforts.”

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