A picture showing a girl lying in the middle of a railway line where trains hurtle past at 85mph has been released to promote safety in south east London.

Figures released in March showed there was a 40 per cent increase in youth trespass incidents in south east London, Surrey and Sussex after the region emerged from the first national lockdown.

The teenager appears to be casually using her mobile phone while another girl stands next to her, despite the incredible dangers.

News Shopper:

The image was captured by CCTV at a level crossing near Horsham in West Sussex last month.

Other pictures released show two boys walking down the tracks at Bewbush, near Crawley.

Network Rail head of route quality, health, safety and environment Vincent van der Hoeven said: “We really must get the message across to children and their parents the dangers of trespassing on the track.

“We are putting efforts into getting the message across in schools and on social media through our ‘Parallel Lines’ film and ‘You vs Train’ campaign.”

Nicola Dooris, Community Safety manager on the South East Route, said: “Unfortunately during lockdown, we have seen an increase in the numbers of young people messing about on the railway.

“On that section of track trains often travel at 85 mph and at that speed, unlike cars, trains can take hundreds of metres to stop, a fact many young people don’t realise.

“Using CCTV like this I’m often able to track down young people and talk to them and I’d much rather do that than help our staff cope with the aftermath of young people being killed.”

The children, whose identities have been disguised in the CCTV pictures, have been spoken to by transport police officers, Network Rail said.