I had a wretched journey home tonight, all told it took two hours. Our train had to turn back at Guide Bridge and I had to get another one to Marple and then walk to Rose Hill where my car was.
The problem is "cable theft". People robbing cables from the side of tracks and selling the copper. Apparently this is a growing problem and is likely to cause more train delays than leaves and the wrong kind of snow.
There's a growing violent anger towards the train company at the moment. The trains ARE horrible, the staff can be surly and rude, but I felt tonight the driver and the guard were in an impossible situation and did a decent job of letting people know what was occurring.
But to return to the cable theft business - it does come with hazards. The British Transport Police are employing drones to track down culprits with some success, and one thief nearly got fried. There's more here and here.