A DIGITAL upgrade to trains on the Airedale line has been welcomed by a rail users group.

Operator Northern is overhauling its Class 333 trains with the installation of high-definition CCTV cameras, USB charging points and plug sockets, plus brighter LED lighting and digital display screens that provide 'real time' information.

The company says the digital makeover is part of a wider, multi-million pound investment programme – including new trains and better stations – designed to enhance customer journeys.

Tricia Williams, chief operating officer with Northern, said: "It’s fantastic to add the Class 333 trains to the roll call of refurbished units out on the network.

"Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we are committed to delivering further improvements for our passengers to enjoy.

"I am grateful to our partners across the industry – including Angel Trains and Yellow Rail – as well our own team at Northern, which have worked hard to deliver the refurbishments. I look forward to seeing more and more refurbished carriages take to the rails in the coming months."

David Jordan, chief operating officer of Angel Trains, said: "It is exciting to see the Class 333s undergo refurbishment, which will dramatically improve journeys for Northern passengers. We have enjoyed working with our industry partners and look forward to seeing more of these upgraded units on the tracks soon."

Tim Calow, chair of the Aire Valley Rail Users Group, welcomes the upgrades.

He said: "Northern introduced 16 new, four-coach trains in the year 2000, replacing some electric trains that had been handed down.

"They have been good, reliable trains over the years. We've been happy with them.

"But these are some useful improvements.

"They haven't had USB chargers, so that is something that will be very handy.

"And the improved CCTV should aid in the prosecution of incidents of aggressive behaviour."

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK.

It recently launched a Perk Up Your Commute initiative, which is using WiFi on new trains to offer access to various features – from meditations to help people unwind, to reading materials and apps to learn skills.

Mark Powles, for Northern, said: "Whilst some customers admit to just enjoying time out to enjoy the views on their journey, the new scheme will benefit those who feel they could get more out of their commute time."

For further information, visit northernrailway.co.uk/tickets/work/commuter-perks.