On Twitter National Rail said: “Passengers are currently unable to alight from trains at Shepley due to reports by police of a lion in the area.”

Police took seriously a phone call in which a woman claimed to have seen a big cat roaming outside her home, near the station.

A helicopter was alerted and a firearms unit put on standby, however authorities failed to find the lion and the station was reopened.

After reading the bemusing Twitter message, 12 minutes later passengers were told “West Yorks Police report the area is now clear and trains can call normally at Shepley.”