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PMA Offers Solution To Cable Theft

Following the recent announcement that a rise in theft on our railways has cost Network Rail 16.5m, PMA have seen an increase in interest from specifiers seeking a solution to the problem.

With levels of theft increasing by 52% in the last year, causing subsequent delays amounting to over 6,000 hours, vast sums of public funding have been spent on compensation and the replacement of stolen cable sections.

In an effort to prevent damage to cabling on rail lines, responsible for controlling the signalling infrastructure, rail companies have been installing expensive motion sensors, and favouring nylon cable protection systems as an effective method of protecting cables from vandalism and theft.

Mark Fletcher, PMA’s rail specialist, says: “We manufacture polyamide conduit systems that are used to protect cables, these conduits would ideally carry smaller unarmoured cables which cuts down on the amount of metal required, and dramatically reduces the appeal for thieves. All our systems meet with Network Rail’s requirements on modular wiring systems and provide a range of additional benefits, such as being resistant to corrosion and rodents.”

Traditionally, polyamide (or nylon) has been considered a weaker alternative to metal when it comes to protecting cables, but over the years, more have come to rely upon the material for its strength and ease of installation. At PMA’s HQ based in Switzerland, materials have been subjected to extensive testing and have proved resilient to extreme fluctuations in temperature as well as being resistant to fungal decay, seawater and certified by ATEX as suitable for use in potentially explosive conditions.

Providing a rodent-resistant solution to rail engineers, PMA’s range of nylon cable protection systems gained popularity over the last few years, following reports that millions were being spent in replacing cables damaged by the teeth of rats, after numerous cancellations and delays were caused across the UK’s 20,000 mile stretch of railways.

Now, nylon is gaining further recognition by preventing theft-related disruption on our transport systems by providing a metal-free alternative which doesn’t compromise on strength. With nylon lacking any appeal for thieves seeking metal, PMA’s products are saving thousands of commuters hassle, as well as millions of pounds being spent on compensation and replacement cabling.

The scale of the recent theft of metal cable protection is forcing the hand of specifiers, as the British Transport Police say it’s their second biggest problem after terrorism, with levels of theft related to the price of copper, which is currently fetching £5,000 per tonne. On 3rd February, Nottingham Crown Court heard that the theft of 82ft (25m) of cable near Crankley Point, Newark, in October 2010, cost rail companies £75,000 in damage and delays. The copper was subsequently sold by the defendants for £44.

Mark Fletcher comments: “Rail companies simply cannot afford the costs and delays associated with this vandalism, but we have a simple, easily installed solution to the problem already widely available and we hope PMA’s products can eliminate this crime from being committed altogether and contribute towards a more reliable, cost-effective rail system.

“Nylon cable protection has become very popular amongst Central Europe’s National Rail operators and is used to ensure reliability and long system life while saving time and cost in installation.”

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News Categories:
Cable protection systems Cable protection Underground cable protection

Arundel Jones Associates Ltd
Hill Farm Business Park, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333

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