RAIL passengers were hit with delays after thieves stole a section of cable.
Commuters travelling on the Grand Central and Northern Rail services faced delays after crooks struck and stole the cable between Hartlepool and Eaglescliffe at around 9am yesterday.
The theft triggered a number of electrical problems which added to the delays and cancellations.
Grand Central trains were delayed throughout the day due to a number of problems on the tracks.
A spokesman for Grand Central said: “We experienced delays throughout the day.
“We were running fine until we had the theft between Hartlepool and Eaglescliffe.
“There was also a problem with signalling loss to do with the electrics at Billingham.
“We were doing everything to try and sort this out and looking to see what we can do so the services are affected as little as possible.”
Northern Rail passengers were provided with a shuttle service running constantly from Newcastle to Hartlepool and then a bus service from Hartlepool to Middlesbrough due to the delays.
A spokesman for Northern Rail said: “We started operating a train shuttle service from Newcastle to Hartlepool for our passengers following theft of cable. We then put on buses from Hartlepool to Middlesbrough so our passengers could get to their destination.”
Services returned yesterday afternoon although the majority were still delayed.