Copper Thieves Shut Down Portion of Light Rail System

7:37 PM, Dec 24, 2009   |    comments
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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA - Light rail passengers in Rancho Cordova had to take a bus detour on Thursday after thieves cut copper wiring from the tracks at Folsom Boulevard and Kilgore Road.

Crews found the damage after light rail began experiences electrical shortages in the area.

"The copper wire bridges the gaps around joints in the rail. So it's very thick, a very high powered copper wire, and it's a very high power of electricity, 750 volts," said Mike Wiley, Regional Transit General Manager, who added that the thieves were fortunate they did not electrocute themselves.

Light rail was still operational to the Mather Field and Hazel Avenue stations. Buses shuttled passengers between the two stations.

"It's Christmas time, and I guess that's what people do when they're broke," said one passenger.

Regional Transit officials did not indicate how much copper was stolen, but said it was a signficant amount. Full service was restored by 6 p.m. Friday.

The thieves could be held liable for damages as well as the cost of the interuption to service.


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