Transport bosses are urging the government to carry out a full reform of scrap metal legislation to combat cable theft on the railways.
The head of the Anglia route at Network Rail - which runs into Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street - says millions of pounds will be wasted without legal reform.
Plans are already in place to outlaw cash transactions for scrap, but Network Rail wants a more comprehensive overhaul of the current regulations including:
an updated licensing scheme
police powers to enter and inspect scrap dealers without a warrant
requirements for scrap dealers to provide proof of identity.
The Anglia route is a key part of the transport infrastructure for London 2012. The British Transport Police will be stepping up their patrols on the route throughout the Olympics.
There were nearly 700 incidents of metal theft on London's railways last year.