Copper thieves strike again

Photo: Fairfax Media

Melton and Moorabool commuters endured delays on the Ballarat line last week after electrical cabling was stolen.

Commuters on V/Line services were held up by about 50 minutes, and some even longer, last Wednesday as a result of the theft on the track between Melton and Rockbank.

Some trains from Melbourne to Ballarat and from Bacchus Marsh to Melbourne were cancelled.

It was the latest in a spate of copper wiring thefts around Melton in the past month which have disrupted scheduling of games at five football ovals.

V/Line used social media, emails and text messages to inform commuters of the delays and then later issued a statement.

“V/Line crews worked to repair the fault as quickly and as safely as possible and it was rectified just before 9am,” the statement said.

“Ballarat line services were delayed by up to 50 minutes, with some services more than an hour, and others were replaced by coaches for either part or the entire journey.

“Once the fault was rectified, there were residual delays across the morning while we worked to recover the timetable. It also had a flow-on effect to other lines because some of the services were scheduled to form other services once arriving at Southern Cross.

“Illegally accessing a rail reserve is extremely dangerous and this type of behaviour is extremely frustrating for us and our passengers.”

The incident was reported to Victoria Police. V/Line will work with police to investigate.

A V/Line spokeswoman thanked passengers for their patience while repairs were made.