BALLARAT’S train service was in disarray on Monday after vandals cut signal cables at Rockbank on Sunday night.
Morning trains were delayed by up to 70 minutes and five services between Ballarat and Melbourne were cancelled.
The cables were cut in two places near Rockbank at 7pm, causing disruptions for up to 5000 customers, according to V/Line.
V/Line cancelled three services from Southern Cross – the 6.12am to Ballarat, the 7.12am to Bacchus Marsh and the 9.06am to Wendouree.
The 8.16am and 8.38am services from Bacchus Marsh to Melbourne were also cancelled, as was the 11.04am train from Wendouree to Melbourne.
V/Line spokesman Colin Tyrus said trains were “crawling” through Rockbank because of the loss of signal.
He said because trains were running slowly, V/Line had to take some services out of the system to keep the timetable in order.
V/Line repaired the damage before 2pm on Monday and normal service resumed soon after.
“We want to remind people that damaging railway equipment is a criminal act and we urge anybody who knows anything about this vandalism to call Crime Stoppers,” Mr Tyrus said.
V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos said: “Who in their right mind would cut a live cable right beside a rail track? It could cost the life of one of these fools.”
Crime Stoppers can be called on 1800 333 000.