Thieves hit Arc rail site

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Similar items to those stolen.
Camera IconSimilar items to those stolen. Credit: Arc Infrastructure

Brazen metal thieves have stolen $80,000 worth of railway infrastructure from WA’s grain railway network operator in two separate incidents.

Police believe a flatbed truck may have been used to steal 25 tonnes of spare steel from Arc Infrastructure’s rail line between Lake Grace and Newdegate in April and May.

About 200 rail sleepers, more than 200 sleeper plates, an assortment of offcuts and welds and two 44 gallon drums of fastenings were stolen during the first incident.

The haul included fastenings.
Camera IconThe haul included fastenings. Credit: Arc Infrastructure

An Arc Infrastructure employee noticed the items were missing from on April 18, and reported the theft to police.

Just two weeks weeks later, while inspecting the track between Lake Grace and Newdegate on May 1, the same staff member realised thieves had struck again.

The second theft included 1200mm of 80BS rail, in 12m to 15m lengths, and more rail offcuts.

The haul included sleepers and joiners.
Camera IconThe haul included sleepers and joiners. Credit: Arc Infrastructure

The stealing did not affect the rail line’s operations, because the metal was scrap and placed to the side.

Arc Infrastructure said the scrap metal was left over from its repairs to the Lake Grace-Newdegate line in December 2017.

“Arc Infrastructure can confirm stockpiled sleepers and rail were stolen from the track at Lake Biddy in late April,” a spokeswoman said.

“The materials were found to be missing during a routine inspection of the track and the matter was reported to the police.

“Arc Infrastructure limits general public access to the rail corridor to ensure their safety and reduce the risk of incidents like this.

“The matter will not result in any train delays nor maintenance works.”

The haul included joiners.
Camera IconThe haul included joiners. Credit: Arc Infrastructure

Detectives from Narrogin and Lake Grace police are investigating the theft.

Lake Grace Sen. Const. Fiona Main said scrap metal dealers should be on the lookout for sleepers, steel clips, dog spikes, screw dogs, pandrol clips and anchors.

“It is worth about $80,000 in scrap, so it is likely to be sold onward,” she said.

The Lake Grace-Newdegate rail line is owned by Arc Infrastructure, and stretches about 50km between the two towns, and is used exclusively to cart grain for CBH.

Arc closed the line for 10 months in 2017 after severe flooding washed away large sections of the track, rail structure and culverts.

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