Fast track or fast buck? With 110 feet of hot steel under their belts, thieves in Western Pennsylvania won’t have to choose.
The sticky-fingered suspects unloaded the used track from a Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Co. facility in Punxsutawney, PA, sometime between May 10 and May 17, state police said.
Brad Conant / fallstonflagstop.com
|The thieves made off with more than 100 feet of used Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Co. track, police said.|
The heist was apparently the latest effort to cash in on the burgeoning global trade in hot metals, especially copper and steel. Western Pennsylvania has had its own mini-boom of metal theft recently.
In October, thieves dismantled a 40-ton bridge in that region and carted it off over several days. Ironically, the bridge had been closed to cut down on a rash of copper thefts in the area.
Two brothers were eventually charged in the caper when authorities caught them trying to unload about 15 tons of the 40-ton bridge for scrap.
The steel railroad tracks are unlikely to pay as well as the bridge. Main line track is usually built with 130 lb/yd steel or heavier. That’s about $43.3 pounds a foot, or 4,766 pounds overall—less than two and a half tons.
On the other hand, the tracks should be easier to conceal.
The railroad, owned since 1988 by Genesee & Wyoming, declined to comment Monday on the theft.