Shocking footage has captured toddlers playing, dogs posing and even a school boy doing press-ups on railways tracks in Worcestershire.

The footage showing a series of near-misses - all captured on level crossings in the county this year - has been released by Network Rail to highlight the dangers of walking on train tracks.

In some of the video clips the pedestrians are just seconds away from being hit by a fast speed train.

In one clip, a man is seen on his phone while two children play on the railway tracks despite being able to hear an oncoming train. The youngest even tries to get the adult's attention by saying 'I can hear a train coming'.

Another clip shows two dog walkers rushing to the other side of the footpath just eight seconds before a high-speed train passes after urging their pets to sit in in the middle of the crossing.

Two boys were also caught placing ballast stories on the track so they are run over by trains.

Network Rail has released the footage of people misusing the train tracks after nearly 50 dangerous incidents were caught by hidden cameras or reported by train drivers across Worcestershire and West Midlands this year.

The location of where the incidents have taken place has not been revealed by Network Rail.

Alexandra France, Network Rail Level crossing safety manager, said: "In so many of the incidents filmed, the difference of just a few seconds could have led to tragedy for those involved.

"I can’t downplay the danger they were in – with a serious injury or worse a huge possibility.

"No matter how well you think you know a crossing, all users must obey the rules around using level crossings every time they use it. It just really isn’t worth the risk."

Network Rail level crossing safety teams are now visiting the problem crossing to directly warn people of the dangers of the railway.

During the visits, they will hand out leaflets and explain to passersby that people using footpath level crossings should:

  • Concentrate – it’s easy to get distracted, especially by phones, music and conversation.
  • Stop, look and listen. Follow signs and instructions.
  • Check both ways before crossing – if there is a train coming, don’t cross.
  • Understand the warnings (lights, barriers, alarms). Visit level crossings for pedestrians to find out more.
  • Cross quickly, keeping children close and dogs on a lead.