Accessible Train Travel

05. 01. 2022

Accessible Train Travel

Accessible Train Travel

Are you in a wheelchair and wondering whether travelling by train is a good idea? We have the answer—it absolutely is! In many cases, it is actually even more comfortable and accessible than travelling by other means of transport.

Train travel has many advantages. There are no traffic jams, you do not have to deal with security checkpoints like at airports or buy your ticket months in advance to get the best price, trains are not as narrow as planes so you have more space to move around, etc. Additionally, most trains offer wheelchair-accessible toilets and using them is not as difficult as on a plane.

However, accessible train travel still requires some preparation if you want to avoid any hassle. Check out the following tips and make sure you travel stress-free!

Before You Travel

As we have already said, buying train tickets last minute is generally not as costly as when it comes to air travel. However, it is still recommended to book them a week or so in advance if you want to save some money. Moreover, some train companies require up to 24 hours to confirm and arrange special assistance for train travel with a wheelchair so you do not want to push buying a ticket until the very last minute.

Pro tip: reserve the seat as soon as possible. There is a limited number of wheelchair accessible spots on the train and you definitely want to make sure you get a good one, right?

At the Train Station

In general, train stations in bigger cities are more accessible than those in smaller towns. This is because stations in cities include platforms that can be reached without using steps and typically offer personnel that can assist you.

Do not be afraid to ask for help if you are travelling without a companion.

If you can, try booking trips from bigger train stations that are easier to navigate. Of course, this is not always possible so do not be afraid to contact the staff before your trip. When you buy your ticket, simply let them know where you are planning to get off the train to make sure someone can assist you with ramps, wheelchair lifts, and/or elevator access.

Getting on/off the Train

The steps that lead onto the train can be quite high so many wheelchair accessible train routes have designated staff that can help you get on and off the train.

To do that, they will generally use a portable ramp or a wheelchair lift. As ramps and lifts are usually chained to a wall or something else, you cannot use them alone with your companion so you will need to ask an employee to unlock them and help you.

Staff will use a portable ramp or a wheelchair lift to help you get on or off the train.

Nowadays, some more modern train stations also offer level access so you will actually not need a ramp or a lift for wheelchair train travel. You will get all the information online or by contacting the staff when you purchase the train ticket.

On the Train

When you get on the train, simply enjoy the ride! Train rides are usually scenic and relaxing. Another advantage related to accessible train travel is that spots for disabled passengers are generally located near an accessible toilet so using it should not be too difficult.

Spots for disabled passengers are usually located near an accessible toilet.

Unlike planes, trains usually do not offer on-board entertainment options, but some offer tables so you can enjoy a meal or a drink. There are plenty of things to do on a train and many argue it is much more relaxing and comfortable than flying.

However, do not forget to keep track of your whereabouts and make sure you do not miss your stop. Allow enough time to contact the staff and comfortably get off the train.

Finding Alternatives

As you can see, accessible train travel is not complicated at all, it simply requires some preparation.

But if you believe this is really not something for you, do not worry—there are plenty of other alternatives to choose from that will get you to your destination! For example, Feel no Limits offers accessible minibus services so you can travel around comfortably and enjoy different tours without limits!