MADRID (AP) — High-speed train service throughout the northeastern region of Catalonia bordering France was suspended for hours Thursday after thieves stole fiber-optic cable alongside the tracks that officials said was critical for maintaining train safety.
Railway infrastructure authority ADIF said service was halted about 7:30 a.m. between Tarragona and Figueres near the French border. Twenty trains and about 7,000 passengers were affected.
Repairs were completed by 11 a.m., but delays were expected throughout the day as service was slowly restored and people whose trains were canceled in the morning tried to rebook.
Television images had shown hundreds of stranded passengers in Barcelona's main train station.
Felix Martin, who heads Spain's Renfe train company in Catalonia, told reporters the fiber-optic cable, which is crucial for traffic control and safety systems, had been cut.