Assaults on Northern Rail staff on the Airedale line have fallen by more than 40 per cent.

The train operator said the number of incidents had dropped from 45 in 2012 to 25 last year.

Across its network, physical assaults against staff were down 38 per cent last year, with 95 reported incidents.

Gary Stewart, the company’s safety director, said: “We are very encouraged by the reduction, which is due to a number of initiatives.

“We have implemented a programme that trains our teams how to deal with potentially threatening situations.

“Any assault on a member of our staff is unacceptable and every one of them has the right to feel safe while they carry out their duties.”

He added: “Alongside British Transport Police, we have also run operations to resolve issues on specific routes where alcohol-related problems have been prolific.

“We want to ensure our employees and customers feel safe and that others understand we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour or excessive alcohol consumption on our services,” he said.

Last year, Northern Rail’s specialist response team – which patrols the network to tackle anti-social behaviour – increased its level of activity and the company installed 23 additional CCTV systems at stations.