Queen's plaque removed from Bellarena train stop

Translink said they were "concerned about safety of the plaque" Image copyright Translink
Image caption Translink said they were 'concerned about safety of the plaque'

Mystery surrounds the removal "within 24 hours" of a plaque unveiled by the Queen at a new Northern Ireland railway platform.

Earlier this year, two new railway platforms opened in Bellarena, as part of a £46m upgrade to the Coleraine to Londonderry railway line.

In June, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled to the village by steam train to unveil the new plaque.

The Infrastructure Minister said it was removed because of "vandalism fears".

The response came to a Stormont Assembly question by the People before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption At the end of her steam train journey, the Queen officially opened Bellarena's new train station in front of a number of invited guests

Mr McCann asked the Minister for Infrastructure why the plaque was removed within 24 hours of the Queen's visit.

"Translink has advised that, because the halt at Bellarena is unmanned, it was concerned about the safety of the plaque and the possibility that it could be vandalised," replied Mr Chris Hazzard.

"Translink is currently looking at options to minimise this risk."

A spokesperson for Translink said: "We are currently considering the best way to mount the plaque at Bellarena Station within the context of the simple layout of the halt and its dramatic setting."

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