Thanks to the macfilos blog for this one:
Two guys tried to steal a 15 ton railroad bridge, belonging to OSE (Hellenic Railways Organization) in Greece. Apparently they are employees of a construction firm and brought a crane to dismantle the roughly 51 by 15 feet steel bridge. Fortunately they were caught.
I know times are tough in Greece, but...
European railways in general are having a bad time concerning metal thefts. With the price of copper and other materials sky rocketing, this thievery has reached epidemic proportions. Deutsche Bahn in Germany reports that the damage was around $14 million last year. That comes to about 765000 pounds of copper, 675000 pounds of steel and 5300 pounds of aluminium gone missing.
Apparently even the overhead power lines which supply the trains with electricity are not safe. This May around Berlin, thieves managed to cut the overhead cable on one railway line, causing severe damage to a locomotive's pantograph and shutting down the line for a considerable amount of time. Keep in mind that these overhead cables are energized at 15000 volts AC!
Deutsche Bahn is fighting back, using chemical markers to make it easier to identify the metals. Apparently this technique has been used by Network Rail in the United Kingdom with some success.
We shall see.
Maybe they should just tie them to the track...The latest on cable and metal theft from railroad property reported by CBS in Philadelphia here.