A TRESPASS incident involving "a number of youths on the tracks" caused a string of delays on Greater Anglia trainlines and cancelled services from Colchester Town to London Liverpool Street.

A post about a trespass incident was first shared by the Greater Anglia twitter account at 8.38pm on Monday evening, with various routes across the network affected for a further hour.

The 10pm service which runs from Colchester Town to Liverpool Street was forced to run from Colchester as delays and cancellations continued across an array of lines.

Trains from Braintree to London Liverpool Street were also affected, with the service instead starting from Witham.

The 9.14pm service from London Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria was cancelled completely, and the 9.18pm Greater Anglia service from London to Clacton could only start from Ingatestone.

Greater Anglia confirmed on social media that emergency services were searching the area between Bethnal Green and Liverpool Street, where the trespass was first reported.

But a British Transport Police spokesman said they had been unable to find any of the offenders.

He said: "Officers were called to Bethnal Green station at 8.08pm on July 10 to reports of a number of youths on the tracks.

"Officers conducted a full search of the area however there was no trace [of the offenders.]"

Greater Anglia later apologised to those who had been affected by the disruption, but added most services were running normally again by 9.30pm.

A spokesman said: "We are sorry that services leaving London Liverpool Street were disrupted yesterday. This was due to reports of trespassers between London Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, at around 8.30pm.

"British Transport Police attended, and trains were able to run normally again from 9.30pm, although there were some knock-on delays.

“Anyone who was delayed for more than 15 minutes can claim delay repay at www.greateranglia.co.uk/delayrepay."

According to Network Rail, the company which operates and develops Britain's railway infrastructure, punishments for trespassing on railway lines can reuslt in a £1,000 fine.

A section of Network Rail's website reads: "When we see someone trespassing, we have to stop all trains in the vicinity to remove trespassers, check for damage and clear blockages.

"This not only delays nearby trains, but also has a knock-on effect on trains across the network, sometimes lasting for hours."