A DRIVER brought his train to a stop and jumped down onto the tracks to chase a group of trespassers off a Yorkshire mainline.

The incident, involving driver Simon Powell (pictured), features in the fourth episode of The Railway 24/7 on Channel 5 at 9pm on Wednesday.

The documentary series goes behind the scenes at TransPennine Express, which has voiced concerns over a rise in trespassers on the railway in recent months, with trespassing hitting a ten-year high.

Last year, 550 children were caught on the tracks resulting in British Transport Police (BTP) setting up dedicated teams.

The episode also features BTP officers Bex and Kayleigh who are shown arriving at a small station after they discover a group of young people on a wall just yards from the high-speed line.

The problem has worsened, with many children not in school due to the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown.

In fact, during the first month of lockdown, more than 1,000 people were caught trespassing on the railway.

With the Summer holidays just weeks away, the rail provider is urging people to stay away from the tracks.

Liz Collins, Interim Managing Director at TransPennine Express, said: “According to new figures, one person every hour puts their life in danger by trespassing on the railway.

“The fact that trespassing is at a ten-year high and that almost half of those killed doing so have been under the age of 25 is an extremely shocking and upsetting statistic.”

“As a rail provider for the North, we’re doing all we can to help keep people safe and reduce trespassing across the network. We also appreciate the support of the British Transport Police who are working closely with us, patrolling trespassing hotspots and educating children about the potential dangers of trespassing.”

“We are urging parents and young people to take a reality check when it comes to trespassing. They are real tracks with real trains and real-life consequences.”

Adam Checkley, from Network Rail’s North West route, said: “Working with TPE and British Transport Police, we’ve been working hard to keep local communities safe along the trans-Pennine railway.

“We need everyone – adults and children - to stay off the railway and never use it as a short cut. Not only are you risking a large fine, you’re also risking your life and the lives of others.”

Research* also shows young people are more likely to take a risk on the tracks, with seasonal peaks in incidents coinciding with the spring and summer school holidays. Most trespassers say taking a shortcut was their main motivation followed by thrill-seeking.

As well as focusing on trespassing, the episode will also show Simon receiving a message that there has been a fatality on the tracks on his line. The sad news reminds him of the two fatal accidents he has been involved with whilst driving his train.

Liz Collins continues: “We do hope we get the message across about the dangers of trespassing and that viewers tune in to the fourth episode of The Railway 24/7.”