Vandalism disrupts travel at Belfast rail station

Translink workers at Yorkgate train station on Thursday morning
Translink workers at Yorkgate train station on Thursday morning

An act of vandalism rendered one of Belfast’s main train stations unusable for commuters arriving into the city on the Larne line on Thursday morning.

The damage was uncovered at Yorkgate train station, just to the north of the city centre, and led to the closure of the city centre-bound platform.

This meant trains heading in the direction of the city centre did not stop at the station for hours during the morning rush.

The Larne-bound platform was still operating.

Translink said the damage following the break-in was “extensive”.

It was first reported to police just before 6am.

By 9.30am Translink said it was opening up the city-bound platform again.

It said: “We have a zero tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour and offer a reward of up to £1,000 for information which leads to a successful prosecution.”

Earlier this month Translink undertook the removal of the large expanse of bushes surrounding the station, prompted by people sleeping rough and using drugs and alcohol.

Translink said: “We cannot speculate on motives for this break-in.”

It is believed that the police are not connecting the cutting of the bushes to the act of vandalism.

The PSNI said: “Police are appealing for witnesses following an overnight incident of burglary and criminal damage in Yorkgate train station.

“Shortly before 5:45am today (Thursday, 25 May) it was reported that the station had been accessed overnight and ransacked with windows smashed and doors damaged.

“Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact 101, quoting reference number 208 of 25/05/17. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”