Stone throwing yobs at train halt ‘risked causing derailment’

Appeal: Roy Beggs

Vandals who threw stones onto a railway platform in Carrickfergus could have derailed a train, the PSNI have said.

Police say that stones were removed from the walls around Clipperstown Halt and thrown down steps on to the station platform sometime between the evening of Saturday, March 18 and early on Sunday, March 19.

They are now appealing for information following a report of suspicious activity on the railway tracks.

Sergeant Emma Spence warned that those involved were putting lives at risk.

“This is such a potentially dangerous and foolhardy activity and those involved are putting their lives and the lives of other rail users at risk,” she said.

“If one of the stones had fallen onto the track, there is a possibility it could have derailed a train.

“The last thing any of us wants to see is a tragedy on our railways.”

Translink inspector Colin Scott added: “Translink and NI Railways view trespass and vandalism extremely seriously, especially when it has the potential to endanger life, and we will work with the PSNI to pursue those responsible with a view to securing a conviction.”

UUP MLA Roy Beggs revealed that concerned locals had already organised a public meeting to discuss anti-social behaviour before the latest incident occurred.

“Sunnylands and Woodburn Community Development Group have organised a public meeting this Thursday evening to discuss anti-social behaviour in the town,” he said.

“This is a clear act of criminality which could have had very serious consequences.

“If a train was to strike these stones on the track it could potentially result in derailment, with likely injury to Translink staff and passengers.

“It could potentially also result in disruption to rail services on the Larne line, and impact on the many thousands of commuters who use the service

“I would urge the public to assist the police and Translink with information to identify those responsible.”

Police are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity or who has any information to contact them at Carrickfergus station on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 246 20/03/17.

Alternatively, to provide information without giving your details, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph

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