Children as young as five have been caught playing on railway tracks in North Yorkshire according to rail bosses launching a safety campaign in York schools.

York Station became a learning platform for teaching youngsters that today’s busy rail network carries trains that are faster and quieter than ever before.

Operators East Coast hosted the rail safety day for children from Poppleton Road Primary School in York to hear about the dangers at first hand.

Duty Station Manager Steve Soards said: “Around 20 per cent of trespassing incidents involve children, with children as young as five found playing on the tracks.”

He underlined that areas created for the travelling public such as stations, platforms, level crossings and footbridges are safe.

“But if children go into areas they are not supposed to, if they don’t realise the hazards around them, they could put themselves in serious danger,” he added.

“East Coast takes great pride in its attitude towards safety and we are also working to support local communities on our route.

“This involves working closely with partners to promote railway safety on the route with local schools.”