Derry train forced to make emergency stop after car is torched on Bellarena line

A Derry train with passengers on board had to make an emergency stop after a car was torched and placed on the Belfast line at Bellarena in what has been described as 'reckless endangerment of life.'

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 9:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 9:22 am

Police are appealing for information after the car was set on fire and abandoned on railway tracks at a level crossing on the Limestone Road.

The incident occurred at around 7.45pm on the railway line between Derry and Coleraine. A train with passengers on board was forced to make an emergency stop.

Chief Inspector MclIdowney described the incident as “reckless endangerment to life” and praised the “heroics of our colleagues in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service”.

The level crossing where the car was burned and abandoned.

“Our investigation is currently underway to establish the circumstances into this incident. We are appealing for any witnesses to contact police on quoting serial number 1945 of the 12/04/21.”

“The railway line currently remains closed at this time.”

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I am deeply concerned and troubled by the incident near Bellarena. The train travelling from Belfast to Derry was brought thankfully to a stop by the train driver who acted quickly before the train reached the burning car on the track.

“I am so relieved to hear that passengers and crew are all safe. It is unimaginable to think what could have happened had it not been for the prompt action of the driver and crew. I want to express my gratitude to them and to the emergency services.

“I would urge anyone with any information about this incident to contact the PSNI.”

You can also submit a report line using the non-emergency reporting form via or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via online at