RAILWAY bosses have warned against "illegal" and "extremely dangerous" trespassing on tracks after 17 reports of people caught on lines serving Bradford during lockdown.

The surge in this fatal or life-changing activity has come about since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK lockdown on Monday, March 23.

There have been 83 trespass incidents in Yorkshire since that date.

Just over 20 per cent (17 incidents) of these happened on three key lines serving Bradford, with 10 incidents reported at locations directly in and around the city.

The Wharfedale Line - which runs to and from Bradford Forster Square and Ilkley - has seen two reports of trespassing since lockdown began.

Six of the seven trespassing incidents on the Calder Valley Line happened between Leeds and Bradford Interchange.

One report from these two lines was of six children climbing over a fence onto the railway.

There were eight reports of trespassing across the Airedale railway line in the past two months.

This included three children being spotted alongside the tracks near Cononley Station, a teenager trespassing close to Skipton Station, and a youth walking onto the lines from a platform at Shipley.

A deadly 25,000 volts run through the overhead wires on railway lines, which are used to power some trains.

This equipment is always on, even when there are no trains around.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Trespassing is illegal, extremely dangerous and can have fatal or life changing consequences.

"Trains travel at high speeds and cannot stop quickly or swerve out of the way."

Railway lines are still being used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, despite the country only just easing out of lockdown.

Services are set to increase as the Government's restrictions are loosened further and Network Rail is urging people to stay off the tracks.

Dawn Sweeting, Community Safety Manager for Network Rail, said: “These trespass incidents in Bradford and across West Yorkshire are absolutely shocking.

"Too many people are ignoring the warning signs and putting themselves in danger.

"It’s never safe to hang around on the railway or use it as a short cut, but we’ve seen a worrying number of incidents since lockdown which could have resulted in tragic consequences.

“You never know when the next train is coming, and everyone loses when someone steps onto the tracks.”

As well as passenger services, freight services run on the network to transport food, medicine and fuel across the country.

There were 1,024 vital services disrupted across the country in the first month of lockdown, Network Rail revealed.