A METRO driver had to brake suddenly after spotting a man crossing tracks at a station.
The train was forced to stop short of the platform at Brockley Whins to avoid hitting the trespasser.
British Transport Police have now released CCTV images of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the near-miss on Saturday, May 25.
Pc Graham Marshall, investigating officer, said: “Around midnight, two men got off a train at Brockley Whins, near Boldon Colliery.
“The men left the station, but returned a short while later before one of the men jumped on to the track and crossed over to the track close to the opposite platform.
“He then crossed back over to the side of the tracks where the other man was waiting on the platform.”
After stopping the train, the driver and the other man helped pull the trespasser off the tracks and on to the platform. Both men then left the scene.
“I cannot overstate just how dangerous trespassing on the railway is,” said Pc Marshall. “Though people may think they are perfectly safe and can get out of the way of any trains, they often fail to realise the true situation and the danger they are in.
“Trains can approach quietly and, if you are trespassing, often when you do hear an approaching train it can be too late to move out of the way. If you recognise the man pictured, or know his whereabouts, then please get in touch.”
Metro operator Nexus said the firm was working closely with police to identify the suspect.
A spokesman said: “If anyone knows who he is then they should inform the police.
“It is a criminal offence for members of the public to go into any trackside areas.
“Anyone who trespasses on Metro lines is putting themselves at risk of death or serious injury.
“The public don’t appreciate the many hidden dangers of going on the tracks.”
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016 quoting reference B3/NEA of 10/06/2013.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.