Copper theft attempt hits Adelaide train services

Thieves who attempted to steal copper cabling at an Adelaide railway station caused widespread delays and cancellations of metropolitan train services this morning.

Jul 21, 2023, updated Jul 21, 2023

Police are reviewing CCTV footage of thieves that attempted to steal copper wiring by cutting through 650 volt cables.

The Transport Department said that services were hit from around 6.30am with signalling issues causing a “compounding impact” amid reports a site in North Adelaide had been targeted.

Police later confirmed that there had been an attempt to cut copper cabling at the North Adelaide Railway Station between 12.50am and 6am.

The Gawler, Seaford, Outer Harbour, Grange and Flinders lines were impacted, with passengers asked to be patient or consider other options for travel.

But a mid-morning update said services had resumed by 9.30am, with residual delays expected.

All services have resumed across the affected lines following a technical issue this morning.

Residual delays are expected.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Visit for the latest information.

— Adelaide Metro (@AdelaideMetroSA) July 21, 2023

Transport Department chief executive Jon Whelan said a short time ago that the offenders used a grinder or a saw to cut through cabling, sending the network into ‘safety mode’.

Whelan added that services were “back on track” and should be running on time for the peak hour commute this afternoon.

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He said the incident was an “isolated case”, but would not rule out adding more security to key infrastructure.

“We’re going to continue with more security and also examine our CCTV to make sure our network is covered,” he said.

“It’s a stupid activity by these reckless thieves to try and take what is a minor piece of cabling with very little financial value.”

“They put themselves at risk and our patrons at risk. These are 650 volt cables; they could have killed them there instantly.”

Anyone who saw suspicious activity around the North Adelaide Railway Station area is asked to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at

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