RUSH-HOUR trains were disrupted after a man was caught trespassing on the line.

The alarm was raised at 7.15am yesterday following reports of a disturbance on a train at Fishersgate station, near Shoreham.

A member of rail staff escorted a man from the train but the passenger then made his way onto the tracks.

The power was immediately turned off while British Transport Police (BTP) dealt with the incident.

A spokesman for Southern Rail said: “Southern services were unable to run between Barnham/Littlehampton and Brighton for approximately 25 minutes while the power was off.

“This meant that delays to passengers’ journeys of around 30 minutes were experienced during this time.”

Services gradually returned to normal throughout the morning.

BTP arrested a 37-year-old man on suspicion of trespass and assault and he remained in custody last night.

The incident happened as BTP launched a major campaign warning children and adults of the dangers of walking onto train tracks.

Police dealt with 92 incidents on the Brighton mainline, coastal East and West and Arun Valley lines between April and June this year.

They stated more than half of all railway trespassers are aged between 14 and 25.

The lighter evenings usually show an increase in trespass cases, some of which include vandalism.

As part of Operation Intruder, BTP officers are targeting trespassers.

Officers will carry out increased patrols in a bid to try to ward off would-be trespassers who think they can go onto the tracks.

BTP is enlisting the help of other police forces and the rail industry, including the use of helicopters, to report and track people who are spotted on the train lines.

Officers will also report any damage to railway property, such as broken fences, so it can be repaired, helping to stop people gaining access to the tracks.

Chief Inspector Tom Naughton said: “Children and young adults need to understand the dangers of the railway – that’s the message from British Transport Police as our officers spend the next two months targeting trespassers across the network.

“While taking trespassers through the courts remains open to BTP, the main focus of this campaign is prevention – stopping people getting on the track in the first place.”