Passengers on one of the country's busiest rail lines were forced to deal with hours of delays as a knock-on effect of cable theft.
Customers on the Virgin Trains East Coast main line were informed on the tannoy system that the disruption was caused by the "vandalism" at Darlington which in turn caused signalling problems.
Some services were replaced by buses, while on others passengers were delayed by up to 60 minutes even after the problem had been fixed.
Anyone delayed by more than 30 minutes can apply for compensation via the Virgin Trains website, the operator said.
Hundreds of migrants and refugees are beginning to arrive at the Austrian border after Hungarian authorities laid on buses to carry them there.
Austria and Germany have both said that they will grant them access, regardless of European Union rules which are meant to restrict the movement of unregistered migrants.
Hungary's decision to transport people to the border followed days of chaos in the capital Budapest, which resulted in more than a thousand attempting to get there by foot.
The crowd was led by a one-legged Syrian man as it travelled along the main highway to Vienna, and could be heard chanting "Germany, Germany!"
More than 140,000 migrants have been recorded entering Hungary so far this year through the EU's external border with Serbia, and the decision to aid thousands in reaching Austria marked an embarrassing climbdown for the country's right-wing government.
Hundreds of migrants and refugees have been pictured aboard buses headed for the Austrian border after days of chaos in Hungary.
Up to 1,500 were expected to arrive at a reception centre on the Austrian border overnight, the Austrian Red Cross has said.
Between 800 and 1,500 refugees are expected to arrive at a reception centre on the border of Austria and Hungary in the next few hours, the Austrian Red Cross has said.
Thomas Horvath, spokesman for the Red Cross in the Austrian province of Burgenland on the Hungarian border, said: "We are getting beds, shelter, food and hot drinks ready for them, and there will also be medical care available if needed."
More than 40 councils across Britain have offered support after Labour leadership contender Yvette Cooper appealed on authorities to take Syrian refugees.
Cooper, who has said Britain should take in 10,000 people from the war-torn country, praised councils for showing a "rising sense of moral purpose".
The shadow home secretary said the responses had come within just 24 hours of her writing to councils across England.
She said the government should now work with councils to offer more places - hours after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged "thousands" more would be allowed into the UK.
Cooper had previously said that Britain could take 10,000 refugees if every London borough and council across Scotland, Wales and England played their part.
Refugees have boarded buses at Budapest railway station, bound for the Austrian border, the Reuters news agency reports.
Austria and Germany will both allow migrants and refugees in Hungary to enter their territory, Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann has said.
"Because of today's emergency situation on the Hungarian border, Austria and Germany agree in this case to a continuation of the refugees' journey into their countries," Faymann said in the post.