Shocking footage has emerged of kids playing on a railway line, with a train narrowly missing two youngsters, and another caught throwing ballast.

One clip shows two children playing right at the edge of a crossing as a train goes past.

In the video one child is seen laying at the edge of the crossing with his head inches away from the tracks.

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The video, taken at the Shearwater Lane crossing at Crooksbarn, Stockton has provoked a warning to parents to ensure children know the dangers of the railway.

Other footage shows a train having to sound its horn as a warning, and even stopping to avoid any potential accidents.

Another clip shows a child throwing ballast, the stones that form the base of the railway at cars on the nearby A19 from the tracks in Billingham.

Since April 2022 there has been 27 recorded incidents of trespass in this area. Network Rail saus these are largely young people as well as some dog walkers, cutting acrosss from one area to another as a shortcut.

Stockton MP Alex Cunningham said: “These young children are dicing with death on a live railway crossing.

“The youngsters were lucky this time, but the footage could have ended in much more tragic circumstances.”

“I’ll be speaking to Network Rail, the British Transport Police and Stockton Borough Council about this matter and seeking answers on what can be done to improve safety at the crossing, or whether alternative crossings can be provided.

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“But I’m also appealing to parents and families to impress upon their children the dangers of playing around railway crossings, and to make sure they keep away from them unless supervised.

The Labour MP has previously called for more to be done to improve safety measures at the crossing.

Network Rail has reminded peple that tresspassing on the railway is illegal and dangerous and that offenders may face heavy fines.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “The railway is not a playground and it is deeply concerning to see people taking serious risks to their own and other people's safety.

"Trespassing incidents on the railway are dangerous for everyone who uses the system since they can result in serious injuries or, in the worst instance, fatalities.

"We urge the general public to report any instances of trespassing they see to the BTP, as well as parents, teachers, and other responsible people to make sure children understand the dangers of trespassing.”

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Chris Smith, officer for the British Transport Police, said: "Trespass incidents of this nature cause a serious risk to life as trains cannot stop as quickly as cars.

"The dangers those witnessed are willing to put themselves in for a “shortcut” or to behave in an anti-social manner is unfathomable. 

"Those witnessed throwing stones to the dual carriageway below again is inherently dangerous and may result in severe damage to cars and serious or fatal injuries to drivers and passengers of many different vehicles."