Three men who stole 80 metres of cable from the railway line between Barnsley and Huddersfield have been locked up by a Sheffield judge.
John Boy Shaw, 33, Raymond Walker, 47, and Christopher Paul Davies, aged 28, all of no-fixed abode, were given 15 months each in prison after a court heard their actions cost Network rail £9,400.
Their crime was discovered when Network Rail reported a signal failure to British Transport Police at 3.12am on Thursday, February 9.
Officers attended the scene between Capital Close and Higham Lane off the A629 Whinby Road and found the men nearby burning cable off West Road, Pogmoor, Barnsley.
Tools including a hacksaw were also found.
The men were arrested and officers searched a flat in Barnsley where they found a large amount of cable sheathing.
The investigation was carried out by officers from British Transport Police’s dedicated metal theft team, Operation Leopard.
Initially the men denied the allegations but pleaded guilty to theft when they heard the evidence against them.
PC Mark Holberry said: “Theft of cable from the railway is not only costly, but also has a devastating impact on the community. Cable theft causes massive disruption to both rail passengers and freight lines.
“BTP have a dedicated team of officers whose sole focus is on tacking cable crime.
“I hope these results send a clear message to thieves who target our railway – we are on the case and will do everything in our power to catch you and bring you to justice.”