London King's Cross passengers (Photo Network Rail)

UK: Network Rail has worked with the National Autistic Society to produce an online guide help autistic people travel by train independently and with confidence.

The guide shows the sights and sounds passengers could experience during every stage of a journey, from purchasing tickets, to getting to the right platform, to finding a seat. There are links to examples of sounds that could be heard at a busy station, and photographs of common signs, departure boards and uniformed staff to ask for help. There is also advice on how to get to a station and what to bring.

‘Stations can be noisy and busy places, and although our staff are very well trained to provide assistance, and to recognise when people may need extra help, we also realise that some people may be put off travelling as they simply don’t know what to expect’, said Susan Holden, Network Rail’s Stations Customer Experience Manager.

‘The idea of this guide is that it will take you through every step of a journey, with clear information, pictures and sounds, so you can familiarise yourself before you set off. We’ve had invaluable input from NAS, and we’re confident it should really help anyone who’s anxious or unsure about rail travel.’