SEVENTEEN people in the North East were involved in a near miss with a train last year after trespassing on the railway.
The figure has been released by Network Rail as it launches a new campaign to warn people of the dangers.
The organisation has teamed up with British and World 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene for an online video and advertising campaign showing the risks. It is particularly aimed at young men to warn of the dangers of taking a shortcut over the tracks as nationally 88 per cent of accidental trespass deaths in the last ten years were men aged between 18 and 25.
Route Managing Director Phil Verster said: “Last year a train driver reported a near miss with a person on the lines in the North East on 17 occasions. That’s 17 times when someone put themselves and others at risk.
“Shortcuts cut short lives. Please stay off the railway.”
Incidents included people crossing the tracks to the opposite platform in stations, jumping down to retrieve phones or wallets and walking alongside the tracks as a shortcut home.
Nationally, there were 425 recorded near misses between trespassers and trains from April 2011 to March this year.