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Every train operating company in the UK has a dedicated telephone line to make accessibility arrangements ahead of travelling. Trained railway staff will be on hand to:

  • Meet you at the station, either at a specific meeting point or a help point
  • Help you navigate through the station
  • Help you on and off the train, including ramp access where required
  • Meet you at your destination or help you on to a connecting service
  • Help with your luggage

Read on for information about accessibility on the UK rail network, including contact details for passenger assistance, accessibility information by train company and information on concessions for disabled travellers.

Who to contact for Passenger Assist

The Passenger Assist service allows you to book assistance up to 22:00 the night before travelling. All train companies offer Passenger Assist services.

You can contact Passenger Assist via the following methods:

Freephone: 0800 0223720

Textphone or minicom: 0845 60 50 600

This Passenger Assist line works for all train operating companies. However, if you would like to contact the individual train company, find contact details below.

Accessible travel during the COVID pandemic

The COVID pandemic presents unique challenges to accessible travel. Passenger Assist is still available, but with some important changes to protect both you and train company staff.

Is Passenger Assist still available?

Yes, the service is still available, although it may look a little different than in normal times. Staff will be wearing face masks and will endeavour to socially distance from you where possible. All key services – such as helping you navigate the station, setting up a boarding ramp and transporting luggage – are still available.

Staff will wear face masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines where possible when providing assistance. If you’re using the lifts, staff may use the stairs instead of travelling in the lift with you, but they can still assist you in and out of the lift.

If you need to lip read, let the member of staff know and they should step back to a safe distance and remove their face mask before speaking. Alternatively, staff may use written messages to communicate if they are not comfortable with removing their face mask.

What if I can’t wear a mask?

You can still travel by train even if you are exempt from wearing a mask. As per government guidelines, you do not need to routinely show written evidence of your exemption, but you might feel more comfortable having something that communicates your exemption to other passengers, such as an exemption card or homemade sign. Exemption cards are an optional choice and not required by law in the UK – if asked, you need only to specify that you are exempt as per the relevant government guidance for England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Exemption cards can be produced at home using templates such as these from GOV.UK and GOV.WALES. In Scotland, exemption cards can be requested from NHS Scotland. Transport for Wales (TfW) also has a handy service for creating a named exemption note which will be recognised on all TfW services and most bus services.

Wheelchairs on trains

The vast majority of trains in the UK can accommodate wheelchairs within government-prescribed dimensions of 700mm by 1200mm (Width x Length). Some older trains can only accommodate wheelchairs with a maximum width of 550mm. If you need to reserve a wheelchair space, please get in touch with the train company operating your service ahead of travelling – the more notice you can give, the better.

Wheelchair spaces are often accompanied by one or two companion seats. If you’re a wheelchair user travelling with a companion, train companies will endeavour to make the companion seat available.

Stations with step-free access

National Rail has produced a handy map of all UK stations and accessibility provisions for each station. Use the search bar at the top of the map to search for a station or zoom in to locate it on the map.

Clicking on the pin opens up an information box detailing relevant accessibility information, including step-free access (full, partial or no access), accessible toilets, contact details and staffing hours.

Mobility scooters on trains

Generally speaking, train companies will accommodate powered scooters with dimensions not exceeding 700mm by 1200mm (Width x Length) and a total weight (including the user) of 300kg**.

However, mobility scooters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and for that reason, several train operating companies may require mobility scooter users to apply for a Scooter Pass before travelling. The following train companies require Scooter Passes:

The links will take you to the relevant train company’s website, where you can apply for a pass.

**The exceptions to this rule are:

  • Heathrow Express, who permit a maximum weight of 200kg and require the scooter to fold down
  • Island Line, who permit a maximum weight of 230kg
  • ScotRail, who permit dimensions of 560mm by 1040mm

Discounts for travel companions

If you’re travelling with a companion, both passengers are eligible for concessionary discounts.

Wheelchair users, blind or visually impaired travellers and their travel companions are eligible for concessionary discounts on train tickets. These tickets can be purchased from staffed National Rail stations. The discounts apply to adult fares for both Standard Class and First Class seats.

There are two important points about companion discounts to note. First, if you’re travelling alone, discounts are not available. Second, you may be required to produce evidence of visual impairment from a recognised institution, such as your local authority. RNIB’s helpful guide has lots of useful information about registering as sight-impaired.

Ticket type

Discount

Anytime Single

34%

Anytime Return

34%

Anytime Day Single

34%

Anytime Day Return

50%

Priority seating

Most trains are fitted with priority seating for travellers who are disabled, elderly passengers, pregnant passengers or passengers carrying toddlers.

Priority seats are present on the vast majority of trains in the UK, offering space for customers with reduced mobility or who may need a little more room. Priority seats are usually identifiable by a blue badge labelled ‘Priority’. The train staff will be able to help you locate Priority seating if it’s not immediately visible.

Several train companies offer free Priority Seating Cards for people who would like extra assurance when asking to sit in a Priority seat. Transport for London also offers ‘Please Offer Me a Seat’ and ‘Baby on Board’ badges.

Train companies offering Priority Seating Cards:

Accessibility information by train company

Below you'll find Passenger Assist contact details and accessibility information on trains for all UK train operating companies.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 08000 158 123

Textphone/typetalk: 08000 158 124 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Avanti West Coast website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 1 3 to 4

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0345 744 4422

Textphone/typetalk: 03457 444422  (Textphone compatible with Ultratec Minicom 6000)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the c2c website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 N/A 1

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 03456 005 165

Textphone/typetalk: 08457 078 051 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Chiltern Railways website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 1 1

 

Note: Wheelchair space and accessible toilet will be in either Standard or First Class on most train types.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 030 9224

Textphone/typetalk: 0800 030 9230 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the CrossCountry website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 1 1 to 2

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 03457 125 678

Textphone/typetalk: 03457 078 051 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the East Midlands Railway website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 1 2

 

Note: Non-intercity trains will not usually have First Class carriages.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 138 1016

Textphone/typetalk: 0800 138 1018 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Gatwick Express website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 N/A 1

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0344 811 0072

Textphone/typetalk: 0344 556 1400 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Grand Central website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 1 1

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 058 2844

Textphone/typetalk: 0800 975 1052 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Great Northern website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 Yes N/A Yes

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 08001 971 329

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 0800 197 1329 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Great Western Railway website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 0 to 2 2 2

 

Note: 9-car Intercity Express Trains (IET) have wheelchair spaces in Standard carriages, while 5-car trains only have wheelchair spaces in First Class. On other train types, wheelchair spaces and accessible toilets are located in Standard Class only.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 08000 282 878

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 08000 282878 (text relay service)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Greater Anglia website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 3 N/A 1

 

Note: While newer trains are equipped with accessiblity features, older trains lack some of the same features. These are in the process of being phased out - however it is certainly worth contacting Greater Anglia if you have questions about the service you intend on taking.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 316 1323

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 0800 316 1323 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Hull Trains website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 1 2

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 528 2100

Textphone/typetalk: 0800 692 0792 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Island Line website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 N/A N/A

 

Note: New Class 484 trains will be equipped with wheelchair spaces as part of the Island Line fleet upgrade. They're due to enter service from May 2021.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 03457 225 225

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 03457 225 225 (Text relay service)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the LNER website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 0 to 2 1 to 2 2

 

Note: 5-car Azuma only have wheelchair spaces in First Class, while 9-car Azuma trains have spaces in both classes.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 024 8997

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 0800 024 8997 (Next Generation Text)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the London Northwestern Railway website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 N/A 1

 

Note: Some older trains in the fleet do not have accessible toilets.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0343 222 1234

Textphone/typetalk: 020 3031 9331 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the London Overground website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 N/A N/A

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 0277 347

Textphone/typetalk: 0151 702 2071 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Merseyrail website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 N/A N/A

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 138 5560

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 0800 138 5560 (Text relay service)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Northern website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 4 N/A 1

 

Note: Northern have several different train types in their fleet, each with differing numbers of wheelchair spaces. Class 142 and 144 trains do not have accessible toilets; however, they're due to be phased out.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 912 2901

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 0800 912 2 901 (Typetalk)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the ScotRail website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 N/A 1

 

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 08007 834 524

Textphone/typetalk: 08007 834 548 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Southeastern website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 N/A 1

 

Note: Class 466 and Class 376 trains do not have accessible toilets.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 528 2100

Textphone/typetalk: 0800 692 0792 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the South Western Railway website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 N/A 0 to 1

 

Note: Several trains in the fleet do not have accessible toilets.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 138 1016

Textphone/typetalk: 0800 138 1018 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Southern website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 N/A 1

 

Note: Some trains in the fleet do not have accessible toilets.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 058 2844

Textphone/typetalk: 0800 975 1052 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Thameslink website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 Yes N/A Yes

 

Note: The number of wheelchair spaces on trains vary; carriages with spaces are marked on the outside of the train.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0343 222 3456

Textphone/typetalk: 0800 112 3456 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the TfL Rail website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 N/A N/A

 

Note: Platform markings at stations will indicate where accessible coaches will be.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 107 2149

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 0800 107 2149 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the TransPennine Express website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 2 2 1

 

Note: On TPE's new 'Nova' fleet, all wheelchair spaces and accessible toilets are located in First Class. On Class 185 trains, wheelchair spaces are situated in Standard Class.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 03330 050 501

Textphone/typetalk: 08457 585 469 (Textphone)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the Transport for Wales website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 N/A 1

 

Note: Accessible toilets are usually only available on mainline express routes.

Passenger Assist contact details

Telephone: 0800 024 8998

Textphone/typetalk: 18001 0800 024 8998 (Next Generation Text)

You can also find more information and book assistance online on the West Midlands Railway website.

Provisions for wheelchair users on board

Wheelchair spaces in Standard Class

Wheelchair spaces in First Class Accessible toilets (entire train)
 1 to 2 N/A 1

 

Note: Some older trains in the fleet do not have accessible toilets.

Sunflower Lanyards

All train companies in the UK recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

The Sunflower Lanyard scheme allows travellers with non-visible disabilities to communicate to staff and other passengers that they may need a bit of assistance, or a little more time getting on and off the train.

Railway staff are trained to spot lanyards, wallets and other sunflower-marked items; and assist appropriately if requested to do so. Lanyards are available to collect at all Network Rail-managed stations or can be purchased through the Hidden Disabilities website.

Disabled Persons Railcard

Costing just £20 for the year, the Disabled Persons Railcard offers 1/3 off train tickets for you and a companion (if you’re travelling together).

Who is eligible for a Railcard?

You can apply for the Disabled Persons Railcard if you:

  • Have a visual or hearing impairment
  • Have epilepsy
  • Receive either PIP (Personal Independence Payments) or DLA (Disability Living Allowance)

You’re also eligible for a Railcard if you use a vehicle through the Motability scheme or receive Attendance Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement, or a War/Service Disablement Pension for 80% or more disability.

You can apply online for a Disabled Persons Railcard or order it over the phone on 0345 605 0525 (or 0345 601 0132 for textphone/minicom).

The full eligibility criteria are available on the Disabled Persons Railcard website.

Disabled Persons
Railcard

1 year
£20

Save 1/3 on all train travel
Travelling with another adult? They will also get 1/3 off their rail fare

Great for:
People with a disability that makes travelling by train difficult. Proof of eligibility applies

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