Travelling on a train as a disabled passenger can seem off putting. From worrying about getting the right help to local stations being inaccessible, there can seem like a lot of barriers for the disabled train passengers.
We’re pretty experienced disabled train passengers though, so we have put together some helpful tips and advice for you.
There are 2 types of trains, local and mainline. Local trains are a bit like buses on wheels and have clear spaces for wheelchair users and adaptive buggies.
Mainline trains such as East Coast or Cross Country have specific carriages in both standard and first class. For East Coast, it is F in standard and L in First Class. The same generally applies to Cross Country
Getting Assistance as Disabled Train Passengers
Local Trains –
- At local stations, guards have wheelchair ramps on board and can help wheelchair passengers on and off.
- Always check the accessibility of local stations because some can lack ramps or safe walk ways for visually impaired.
- If a local station is inaccessible – go to a main station and ask them to provide accessible transport to that station.
- There should not be luggage, bikes or people obstructing the accessible spaces, and you can ask a guard to move them.
Mainline Trains –
- Ideally it is better to book assistance in advance, either in the station or by phone on – http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/disabled_passengers.aspx
- However, you have no obligation to pre-book and staff at stations have to do their best to accommodate you.
- If there is reason why a carriage cannot properly accommodate you such as lack of toilet or train fault, then the operate has to move you free of charge.
- In the event that you miss your train and the operator or station staff are to blame, such as not providing assistance, then they are duty bound to provide you with an accessible alternative such as a taxi.
- In the event of rail replacement service (where a bus replaces a train), mobility and visually impaired passengers are entitled to an accessible alternative.
Pro Tip – if you are disabled train passenger in a hurry, and unable to purchase a ticket for a legitimate reason (such as organising assistance), then you can board a train without a ticket. On-board, you can then purchase a ticket a discounted rate.
Pro Tip – if you problems with planning a journey or getting around an unfamiliar location, then you can have some guide you around the station.
Pro Tip – you don’t need a disabled person railcard to get a discount. If you remain in your wheelchair, you can get 34% off as single ticket using the code D34 and 50% off a return using the code D50.