Rail accessibility and inclusion news

News about accessibility and inclusion initiatives, projects, policy, training and technology in the rail and urban transport sectors.

  • Station lift (Photo ORR)
    Rail Business UK

    Station lift reliability needs to be improved, says regulator


    UK: The Office of Rail & Road has raised concern over the rate of station lift faults, and it is to review of Network Rail’s processes to ensure it is taking appropriate measures to plan and carry out maintenance and repairs. ORR says there are 1 ...

  • Adelaide communications (Photo Keolis Downer)

    Communication training to improve suburban train accessibility


    AUSTRALIA: Adelaide suburban train operator Keolis Downer Adelaide has been accredited under the Communication Access Symbol initiative to help passengers with communication difficulties. Accreditation involved 234 front line staff completing nine months of specialised training. Tools include communication cards and vision boards showing stations and key ...

  • LNER offers free period products on its trains (Photo LNER)
    Rail Business UK

    LNER offers free period products on its trains


    UK: LNER says it is the first UK train operator to offer free period care products on its trains, as well as at all its stations and offices. Stickers informing customers that TOTM organic period products are available will be displayed in customer toilets onboard and ...

  • Social Mobility Action Plan launch event (Photo Southeastern)
    Rail Business UK

    Southeastern launches Social Mobility Action Plan


    UK: Southeastern says it is the first UK rail operator to publish a Social Mobility Action Plan. Southeastern worked with The Purpose Coalition on the plan, which is based a framework of ‘Purpose Goals’ mapping out 14 barriers to opportunity. These include various life stages alongside ...

  • Northern train PRM area
    Rail Business UK

    Rail regulator identifies how assistance for disabled passengers needs to improve


    UK: The Office of Rail & Road has identified ways in which the provision of assistance for disabled passengers needs to be improved, following audits of how five operators are meeting regulatory requirements. ORR chose East Midlands Railway, Govia Thameslink Railway, Greater Anglia, LNER and Northern ...

  • BSL station annoucement at Weeton (Photo Northern)
    Rail Business UK

    Northern uses AI to trial British Sign Language announcements


    UK: Train operator Northern is working with InfoTec and Signapse to test the use of AI to provide onboard announcements in British Sign Language. The software combines individual words signed by a BSL interpreter to display complete sentences on the information screens. The initial trials involve ...

  • SNCB Alstom M7 coach (Photo SNCB) (3)

    SNCB unveils independently accessible coach


    BELGIUM: National operator SNCB has unveiled the first of 130 double-deck coaches to facilitate wheelchair users travelling without assistance.

  • Deaf passenger using BSL interpretation app
    Rail Business UK

    Train operator launches British Sign Language interpretation service


    UK: East Midlands Railway has signed up to a British Sign Language service to help deaf passengers communicate with staff. The service operated by InterpretersLive is accessed via an app or link which puts users in touch with an BSL interpreter. The interpreter finds out the ...

  • A member of staff helps a blind customer at Stratford London Underground station (Photo TfL)
    Metro Report International

    Transport for London sets out plan for ‘fairer, more accessible and inclusive’ network


    UK: Transport for London has published its Equity in Motion plan committing to more than 80 actions to help create a ‘fairer, more accessible and inclusive’ transport network. The four objectives are an equitable customer experience; protecting and enhancing connectivity; keeping travel affordable; and reducing health ...

  • Accesible toilet at Broadbottom (Photo Northern)
    Rail Business UK

    Accessible station toilet programme underway


    UK: A toilet designed by Seed Architects has opened at Northern’s Broadbottom station as part of an accessibility programme funded by Transport for Greater Manchester.

  • Sheffield interactive screen (Photo EMR)
    Rail Business UK

    Information and journey planning screens installed


    UK: East Midlands Railway is undertaking a £1m project with Infotec and Thales to install 166 customer information screens across its network. These will show arrival, departure, live journey, station and local information, details of local events and safety notices. Passengers will also be able to ...

  • Signapse
    Rail Business UK

    Converting passenger information into sign language


    UK: Signapse is aiming to improve access to real-time passenger information by using AI to translate messages at stations and on trains into British Sign Language. The specialist technology company is working with Network Rail, South Western Railway and Whoosh Media on the project, which has ...

  • Kate Brackley, Learning Disability Advisor at Bild celebrates with Andrew Lee, Director at People First after travelling on the Tube on her own for the first time
    Metro Report International

    Transport for London plans more inclusive decision making


    UK: Transport for London has appointed the British Institute for Learning Disabilities and People First to help ensure the experiences of adults with autism, learning disabilities or difficulties are considered as part of its decision-making. A survey running to January 15 will seek to ...

  • Students from Glasgow Caledonian University’s Graduate Diploma in Low Vision Rehabilitation took part in a practical training session at Milngavie station
    Rail Business UK

    Low Vision Rehabilitation students trained at ScotRail station


    UK: Students from Glasgow Caledonian University’s Graduate Diploma in Low Vision Rehabilitation took part in a practical training session at Milngavie station to get hands-on experience of teaching visually impaired people how to access the railway safely. The students were provided with the knowledge and ...

  • Hong Kong’s MTR Corp has used virtual reality games to help older people familiarise themselves with tapping smart cards at station entry gates and to provide safety tips
    Metro Report International

    VR to help older passengers travel safely


    CHINA: As part of Caring for the Elderly Month, Hong Kong’s MTR Corp has used virtual reality games to help older people familiarise themselves with tapping smart cards at station entry gates and to provide safety tips such as holding the handrail when using escalators. ...

  • Internal impression of High Speed 2 Old Oak Common station (Image HS2 Ltd)
    Rail Business UK

    HS2 achieves Inclusive Environments Recognition


    UK: High speed line project promoter HS2 Ltd says it is the first infrastructure company to be awarded Inclusive Environments Recognition certification at organisational level by the Construction Industry Council. HS2 Ltd has held focus groups, virtual reality simulations and live testing sessions with charitable organisations, ...

  • TfL Image - Using mobile on platform
    Metro Report International

    London Underground stations to be added to Google Street View


    UK: Major London Underground stations are to be included in Google’s Street View in 2024, to help people get a better sense of the layout of the stations when planning journeys or interchanging between different lines, and to identify facilities such as toilets and help points. ...

  • Twickenham station ticket office
    Rail Business UK

    Ticket office closure proposals scrapped after passenger watchdogs object


    UK: The government has asked train operators to withdraw proposals to close most station ticket offices in England, after watchdog bodies Transport Focus and London TravelWatch formally objected. Announcing the decision on October 31, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the government would ‘continue our work to ...

  • London Liverpool Street virtual tour (Image Greater Anglia)
    Rail Business UK

    Accessibility focus for station virtual tour


    UK: The Virtual Tour Experts has worked with Greater Anglia and Network Rail to create an online representation of London Liverpool Street station, which Managing Director Neil Henderson says is the first to incorporate an accessibility widget, guided tours and subtitled scene guides. ‘The user-first attitude ...

  • Northern train interior
    Rail Business UK

    Northern to trial British Sign Language announcements


    UK: Train operator Northern is looking for charities, organisations or specialists who could help it to provide British Sign Language interpretation of its onboard announcements. A trial is planned on services between Manchester Victoria and Leeds by the end of the year. ‘We know that rail ...