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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Travelling by train

Special arrangements can be made for disabled or mobility-impaired passengers when travelling by train. For example, National Rail staff can usually help passengers get on and off a train.

National Rail

You need to give National Rail train companies advance warning if you think you'll need any assistance from staff - ideally more than 24 hours' notice. This is particularly important if your journey includes getting on or off a train at an unstaffed station.

Staff cannot lift disabled passengers or heavy items like mobility scooters. When booking your journey, give as much detail as possible about your needs. For services that offer seat reservations, the local contact person can reserve a seat or wheelchair space for you without charge.

To arrange a train journey in the UK, or to book yourself a reservation on the Assisted Passenger Reservation System, contact National Rail Enquiries.

Telephone: 0845 7484 950

Textphone: 0845 6050 600

Mainline trains

On mainline (intercity, suburban and cross-country) trains there is a space designed for wheelchair users to travel in safety and comfort. You must always use this space and should apply your brakes when the train is moving. If you use a powered wheelchair, you should make sure that the power is switched off when travelling.

All intercity train services and most other mainline services are wheelchair accessible. Access to the train is provided by a ramp kept either at the station or on the train. Wheelchair accessible sleeper cabins are available on overnight trains between London and Scotland but not on those between London and the West of England.

Local and regional services

Most trains can accommodate wheelchair users and new trains also have facilities to assist sensory impaired people. For example, public information systems that are both visual and audible.

To arrange a train journey in the UK, contact National Rail Enquiries.

Telephone: 0845 7484 950

Textphone: 0845 6050 600

National rail and the Disabled People's Protection Policy

Rail companies must produce a Disabled People's Protection Policy (DPPP). The DPPP explains how the company helps disabled passengers to use their stations and trains. You can get copies of a company's DPPP direct from the company.


You can use Traintaxi to find out if accessible taxis are available at a station. Train taxi lists up to three local taxi or cab firms serving each station.

Travelling to Europe by train

Services operating from St Pancras International in London and Ashford in Kent are fully accessible to wheelchair users. Two wheelchair spaces are available in two first class carriages on each train. Wheelchair users pay the lowest available standard class fare. A companion can also travel with you at a special rate.

Telephone: 08705 186 186


Oxygen use on the train

If you need to use oxygen on the train tell the rail company in advance. Then you can get advice on where you can place your equipment. Most modern portable equipment does not cause a problem.

London Underground

There is information about the accessibility of stations on Transport for London's website.

Train and station facilities

If you need assistance at the train station, contact either the station or the rail company before you travel. You'll need to tell them what help you need.

Many ticket office windows have induction loops to help people who have a hearing aid. These windows are clearly marked. Phones at many stations are also fitted with devices to help people who have a hearing aid. The 'Stations Made Easy' tool on the National Rail website allows you to plan a route around a station and gives information about available facilities.

Many mainline train stations have accessible toilets. Some operate under the National Key Scheme (NKS), which enable disabled people to use accessible public toilets independently by using their own NKS key. You can buy an NKS key from RADAR.

You can take assistance dogs into station buffets and restaurants, as well as onto trains, including buffet cars.

An increasing number of trains have wheelchair accessible toilets. You can find out about the facilities on any train when booking your ticket.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act, train staff must make 'reasonable adjustments' to accommodate disabled passengers. For example, allowing you to travel in first class on a standard class ticket if the accessible toilet in standard class is out of order.






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