Making Rail Accessible: Helping older and disabled passengers

Submitted by content-admin on Wed, 08/11/2021 - 18:47

1. Introduction

Operating as TFW Rail Ltd. (Transport for Wales Rail Ltd).

This leaflet ‘Making Rail Accessible: Helping Older, and Disabled Passengers’ provides information
about how Transport for Wales can help disabled and older passengers travel on our trains and use
our train station facilities. It also provides useful contact details and information that you may need
for planning your journeys.

For more information on our policies and how we work with other organisations please see our
other leaflet ‘Accessible Travel Policy’. This document is available from our website or by calling our
Customer Relations team who can send you a free copy. If you would like a copy of this or any of our
leaflets in large print, Braille or as an audio version, please contact Customer Relations. (Please see
section 4. for contact details).

2. Assistance: What Is Available And How To Get It

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to travel with us and offer a range of assistance if you
have access needs.

The levels of assistance we are able to provide:

  • Help with planning your journey
  • Assistance with getting on and off the train
  • Help with luggage
  • Getting through the station, to your platform and boarding the train
  • Boarding with wheelchairs, scooters and mobility aids
  • Seat reservations on all routes or booking a dedicated wheelchair space
  • Making travel reservations on services operated by other train companies
  • Assistance to and from connecting services and onward transport within the station area
  • Buying travel tickets
  • Checking the accessibility and facilities available on the train and at the station. 

Our staff are trained to assist passengers with both visible and non-visible disabilities.

Please note that we can’t accompany you throughout your journey or provide personal care, such as
help with eating, taking medication or using the toilet. If you need this sort of help you should travel
with a companion.

Disabled customers wishing to travel with a companion can apply for a Disabled Persons Railcard;
saving disabled customers and a companion at least 1/3 off rail fares across Britain. (Please see
section 3a for contact details and more information or see the website: https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/

 

Passenger Assist

Passenger Assist is a national system supported by all train operating companies; which allows
operators to make necessary arrangements to assist customers with disabilities or restricted
mobility.

We are committed to this system and we have a specialist team who will help you book assistance
and buy your tickets in advance at our stations and on our trains. Our Passenger Assist team is
available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except Christmas Day. (Please see section 4. for
contact details).

The Passenger Assist Team can help you book Passenger assisted travel and reserve a seat or
wheelchair space for journeys across the TfW and national rail network. They can also answer any
questions you have about the accessibility of stations and trains.

If you book Passenger Assist assisted travel in advance, we can arrange for a conductor or station
staff to help you on and off the train at any station during the hours when trains are due to stop at
them. When you book assisted travel we can arrange the following;

  • Making a ramp available to get you on and off the train
  • Guiding you through the station and on or off the train
  • Finding you a seat on the train
  • Reserving a seat or wheelchair space on our services or those of other rail companies
  • Help with making connections with other train companies in one single booking
  • Help with luggage (see section b luggage)

Please note: You cannot use the Passenger Assist service for international journeys or journeys to
Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. For onward travel by air, ferry or Eurostar (into Europe)
you will need to contact that transport provider about arranging help.

 

Booking Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel

Passenger Assist is a national system supported by all train operating companies, which helps
operators to arrange passenger assistance for disabled customers or customers with restricted
mobility. 

Our Passenger Assist phone team is available between 8 am to 10 pm every day (except Christmas
Day) or you can use our online booking process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except Christmas
Day).

We'll always do our best to help you whether you're travelling at short notice or have booked
assistance in advance. For the most effective service, we recommend booking assistance before you
travel (via Online booking or Phone / SMS (you can book further in advance if you prefer). There are
several ways to book:

  • Online when you book your tickets: choose the help you need from our range of options (available 24 hours a day)
  • Online using our book assistance form (available 24 hours a day)
  • By phone: call our Passenger Assist team on 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except (Christmas Day)
  • By Next Generation Text: call our Passenger Assist team via text relay service on 18001 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)
  • Visit our website: www.tfw.wales
  • Assisted Travel team can also sell you tickets and reserve seats or wheelchair spaces 

 

Assisted travel without booking

You can turn up at any station that is accessible to you and request assistance onto a train from a
member of our station or train staff.

Or you can use a station Help Point, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except on Christmas Day, which
connects directly into our Control Centre.

If you cannot book assisted travel in advance, we will still provide help if possible but this may take
longer to arrange. Please speak to a member of station staff and they will help you get on your
intended train or the next available one. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the time of your
intended train so that staff can make arrangements to escort you to the platform in plenty of time to
board your train.

At stations where there are no staff to help you; our conductors can help you on board (for example,
by using the on-board ramp). In this case, you need to be on the platform in time for the train.
(Pleases see section 3.b for advice about unstaffed stations and section 3.c for advice about
connections).

3. What To Expect – Our Commitment To You

We at TfW are committed to delivering an excellent service for all of our customers. Here you will
find all the information you need to plan your journey, book assistance and learn about the
accessibility of our services.

 

a. Before you travel

We recognise the importance of providing accurate and consistent information so disabled
customers and those requiring assistance can travel with confidence.

You can gain a range of information, journey planning, book passenger assist and purchase tickets
through the following channels:

  • Online when you book your tickets: choose the help you need from our range of options
  • Online using our book assistance form
  • By phone: call our Passenger Assist team on 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)
  • By Next Generation Text: call our Passenger Assist team via text relay service on 18001 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)
  • Visit our website: tfw.wales
  • Assisted Travel team can also sell you tickets and reserve seats or wheelchair spaces

More information about station accessibility can be found through contacting the National Rail
Enquiries through the following channels:

The National Rail Enquiries website (nationalrail.co.uk) and the station layout guide (‘Stations Made
Easy’) contain useful information about the accessibility of facilities and services at stations and on
trains.

To Contact National Rail:-

  • Tel: 03457 48 49 50 or 0800 0223720 (Open 24 hours every day except Christmas Day)
  • Website: nationalrail.co.uk
  • Text Direct: 0345 60 50 600: (for people who are hard of hearing or deaf)

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be included in inclusive
minutes and discount schemes in the same way.

The National Rail Website: nationalrail.co.uk and using their Stations Made Easy interactive tool is
designed to help people to find their way around stations access services and find routes that are
more suitable by stairs or lifts, if available.

This information includes where:

  • stations have a physical feature which might prevent some disabled people from using it significant temporary work affects station accessibility
  • changes to stations make them temporarily inaccessible (for example, if station lifts or toilets are out of order)
  • changes are made to the accessibility of our trains

All TfW staff receive up-to-date information through a national database and can provide this
information to passengers at ticket offices or station Information Points (Please see section 3.b for
station information details)

Detailed information about the accessibility features of our stations is available by contacting our
Assisted Travel team, National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) and our Station Accessibility Information available through using the following link tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility

Additionally please see the National Rail Accessibility Map. Available at the following link
www.accessmap.nationalrail.co.uk. This map contains information about the accessibility of each
station on the UK Rail Network, including if a station is step free, the availability of accessible toilets
and if the station has changing places facilities.

 

Tickets and fares

Buying tickets before you arrive at the station

You can buy a ticket before you travel; many offering discounts to disabled or older customers:-

  • Online from our website or from the websites of other companies that sell tickets;
  • By phoning 033 300 50 501

Discounted railcards

Before you travel, we also offer a range of discounted Railcards which can be purchased in advance
of your journey: -

Disabled Persons Railcard

This railcard saves you and a companion at least 1/3 off all rail fares across Britain. For more
information and applications, contact:-

More information about the Disabled Persons Railcard can be found at the following link;
https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/

Travel Without A Disabled Persons Railcard

Other Concessionary Discounts

Some disabled passengers are automatically entitled to discounts so it may be worth checking this
out before buying a railcard. The discounts are as follows.

  • 34% off First Class or Standard Anytime Single tickets
  • 50% off First Class or Standard Anytime Day Return tickets
  • 34% off First Class or Standard Anytime Return tickets

You are entitled to these discounts if you are:

  • a wheelchair user staying in your wheelchair during the journey (the discount also applies to one person travelling with you)
  • if you are visually impaired (blind or partially sighted) and travelling with one other person. You are not entitled to this discount if you are not travelling with anyone else. You must provide written evidence of your visual impairment to get the discount. While traveling please take evidence of your visual impairment with you to prove your eligibility. It must be
    either a CVI/BP1/BD8 certificate or documentation from a recognised institution, for
    example, Social Services, your Local Authority or Blind Veterans UK. Tickets can be purchased
    from staffed National Rail station ticket offices.
  • Child wheelchair users are entitled to 75% off these tickets. Please note: In some cases, it
    might be cheaper to buy a full-rate off peak or advance ticket.

More information on Other Concessionary Discounts including eligibility can be found at the
following link; www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk/using-your-railcard/other-discounts/.

Please note our only first class ticket service runs daily between Cardiff and Holyhead, and provides
bookable/reserved wheelchair spaces. Customers are advised to book in advance due to high demand for this services. 

Senior Railcard

Aged 60 or over? These save you a 1/3 on most rail fares. For more information and applications,
contact: -

Other Railcards

There are many types of railcard available to suit a range of customers. Please visit tfwrail.wales or
contact our Customer Relations team

Opening times: 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday (including bank holidays)
11am to 10pm on Sundays Closed on Christmas Day

Mobility Scooters On Trains

We can accommodate mobility scooters of up to 700mm x 1200mm, with a turning radius of 900mm
and a combined maximum weight (mobility scooter and passenger) of 300kg. Train companies have
different rules on carrying scooters so please check before you travel.

A separate leaflet which can be found by following the below link explains in more detail about
bringing your mobility scooter on our trains and the guidelines your scooter needs to meet.

https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/mobility-scooter

Should you wish to Book Passenger Assist, operators / staff will be able to advise you about onward
travel with your Mobility Scooter with other rail operators. 

 

b. At the station

Announcements And Train Service Information

Our stations provide information on train services in a range of ways including customer information
screens (CIS) and or announcements. Information Points are provided at most staffed stations. We
provide clear announcements and or visual information of train departures and other relevant
messages.

In the event of delays or disruptions more information and support can be gained from our staff,
customer information screens (CIS) and Information Points. You can also contact our customer
relation team or Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel Service (contact details can be found in section 4.)

Information Points and displays

Customers are able to make themselves known to staff at the station and gain information in
number of ways.

At staffed stations, staff at the ticket office can give you a range of information including:-

  • Service updates,
  • Accessibility of our stations,
  • Contact details for Passenger Assist

At unstaffed stations you can speak to a person via a Help Point (usually located on the platform).
At our busiest stations we have clearly marked information points which offer:-

  • Timetables,
  • Posters and information leaflets at heights which are suitable for wheelchair users and standing passengers.
  • Information on the facilities, services and accessibility of all stations
  • Information on timetables, fares and connections (also available at station ticket offices, over the telephone from our Customer relations team and on our website as well as the National Rail Enquiries website.
  • Wherever possible, leaflet racks and timetable displays will be placed so that wheelchair users and standing customers can use them.

All staff (including those who work at our customer service points) are able to provide accurate, up
to date information to customers on a range of subjects including delays, disruption, diversions and
emergencies. This also includes access to details about our services and those of other operators,
accessibility of other transport available near the station and direct customers to appropriate
sources of further information.

All ticket offices and staffed Information Points are fitted with induction loops for people who wear
hearing aids, and many have at least one low or height-adjustable counter. If possible, our
timetables, posters and information leaflets will be placed so that both wheelchair users and
standing passengers can use them.

Designated Passenger Assist Meeting Point

TfW is further ensuring that our disabled customers are assisted through the implementation of
Designated Passenger Assistance Points across a growing number of our staffed stations.

Operating during ticket office opening times, these features are currently available at Cardiff and
Swansea. Detailed information about ticket opening times are available by contacting our Assisted
Travel team or by checking the National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) (for contact
details please see section 4).(Not available at unstaffed stations)Located just within the station near
the gate lines or information points. Our Designated Passenger Assistance Points are staff monitored
locations where customers requiring assistance or having booked assistance can gather and wait a
short while before staff are available to help.

Easily identifiable as using the historic accessibility blue colour similarly used for accessible car
parking spaces, signage and blue badges. ‘Passenger Assist’ meeting points, provide seating,
information boards, heat and customer information screens (CIS) (where space permits). The
availability of designated ‘Passenger Assist’ meeting points at stations is provided within our stations
information, and can be found at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility, by
contacting the Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel team or contacting the Customer Relations team
(see 4. for contact details).

Not available at unstaffed stations.

Meeting points

At our staffed stations where our Designated Passenger Assist Meeting Points are not available, customer having booked assistance or not are requested to please approach the ticket office to let us know that they have arrived.

At stations which do not have staff on duty, please wait on the platform in time for your train and our Conductor staff will assist you on-board.

Help points on platforms / stations.

Help Points are similar to intercom systems. Help Points are circular white stands with a centrally
positioned button you can press to speak to an operator who will be able to assist you in continuing your journey. Available in prominent locations on platform, at all of our staffed and unstaffed stations Help Points provide a link to our Control Centre who will also be able to assist you in continuing your
journey 24 hours a day 7 days a week (except 25 and 26 December).

Assistance staff

In addition to all our stations and trains operational staff who are always on hand to provide assistance across the network, we also have additional customer assistance initiatives (Customer Ambassadors and Passenger Assist staff).

Customer ambassadors

Operating during core hours (9am – 5pm). Ambassadors provide a highly visible presence by working in designated zones within the station. The Ambassadors role being to manage key locations within the station, such as gate lines; promoting customer services standards and respond to general customer enquiries across the whole station. Liaising with other staff to improve customer satisfaction and address general customers’ enquiries.

Passenger Assist staff

Recognisable by their blue tabards Passenger Assist Staff are currently only available in Cardiff and Chester. Passenger Assist Staff are available to specifically to support the needs of the disabled and older communities. Services include supporting customers who have booked passenger assist catch connections and taking customers to taxis within the station boundary.

InterpreterNow Live Video BSL

Available on train and at the station; the InterpreterNow service delivers immediate access to online interpreting for deaf / BSL users, enabling deaf and hearing people to communicate easily with eachother. This service is available via a simple app that can be downloaded and used by customers on their own smartphones. The app is designed to allow staff to aid deaf customers in any part of their journey, from information on trains during time of disruption to customer queries at stations or ticket offices.

Customers sign to an interpreter via the app through a video call, who will then relay the customer query to the member of staff. The interpreter will then be able to sign the answer and provide assistance back to the customer. (The InterpreterNow App is available for download at the Google Play Store and Apple Store).

Follow the link below to see a video of InterpreterNow being used.

https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/initiatives/bsl-interpretation-app
 or https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel

TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines)

Although customers can purchase tickets before you travel or once on board the train from our helpful conductors who are available on all our trains and approach all customers during their journeys.

TfW are investing significantly in TVMs providing them at all our stations where there are ticket barriers. These machines can issue tickets with Disabled Persons Railcard discounts if the ticket office is closed.

This new generation of TVMs (Ticket Vending Machines) shows what tickets are available through the TVM screen and what is not. All tickets sold via TVMs are valid for immediate travel from the origin station to all other stations on the National Rail Network.

TVMs also have a number of accessibility features including:-

  • Integrated into the front of the TVM is an amplified loud speaker used to relay instruction to the customer and guide them through the ticket purchasing process
  • To support the hearing impaired and visual impaired a miniature 3.5mm headphone jack/socket is incorporated into the TVM again supporting the customer through the ticket purchasing process.

For more information on the range of ticketing options available, before you arrive at the station (please see section 3.a). Alternatively, you can always buy tickets on the train via the conductor or upon arrival at your destination or connecting stations. 

Ticket Gates

Some of our stations have automatic ticket barriers. These have at least one wider gate for wheelchair users and pushchairs. When gates are not staffed, they are locked in the open position.

We offer general accessibility information for your journey, so please feel free to check beforehand, to avoid any inconvenience. You can do this in a range of ways including using our accessible stations information available at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility, by contacting the Passenger Assist Assisted Travel team or the Customer Relations team before you travel (see section 4 for contact details).

Changing Places Toilets

We recognise that the standard accessible toilets available at many of our stations do not meet the needs of all people with a disability. We are installing ‘Changing Places’ toilets at a growing number of our stations, providing specialist equipment and more space to provide safe and comfortable away from home toilet facilities. For a complete list of changing places facilities please use the following link http://www.changing-places.org/Default.aspx and or please see our Accessible
Stations Information available at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility

Luggage

If you book assisted travel in advance, station staff or the conductor will help you get your luggage on and off the train. There is no charge for this service. If a station has assistance staff on duty, they can help you with luggage to and from the station entrance. If you need help with luggage but have not booked assisted travel in advance, staff will try to help with luggage, but this depends on whether staff are available.

The weight, size and quantity of luggage must be safe for our staff to carry on and off the train and within the station. Each piece of luggage cannot weigh more than 23kg (TfW requirement)

The National Rail Conditions of Travel state that, as a general rule, you can take up to three items of luggage on the train.

Left Luggage

We do not provide our own left-luggage facilities at any of our stations. However, Holyhead has a facility run by another company, and there are left-luggage facilities at Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street. These stations are operated by Network Rail. Accessibility to this service is limited but staff at stations will be able to provide assistance should you need. (For more information please see https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility or contact our Customer Relations Team; Please see Section 4).

Ramps

Ramps are available at all stations with platform staff and on all our trains. Station staff use these to help you on and off any trains, regardless of the rail company. Conductors use the ramps on board at unstaffed stations, whether or not you have booked assisted travel in advance. Conductors are trained to recognise the assistance that customers may require, including the use of ramps. Please feel free to inform the conductor and request any assistance that you may need as they pass through the carriage. They are very pleased to be of assistance.

We have a program of ongoing access improvements across the network; but it is important that we inform you that some of our stations have steps, may not be accessible to some wheelchair users and or provide access via a steep ramp between the train and the platform.

To avoid inconvenience on your journey, check this beforehand. You can do this in a range of ways including using our accessible stations information available at https://tfwr.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility, which holds detailed information about station accessibility, or by contacting the Passenger Assist Assisted Travel team or the Customer Relations team before you travel (see section 4 for contact details).

If a station is inaccessible for you, we will arrange alternative transport to the nearest accessible train station via compliant vehicles so that you can continue your onward journey via rail in comfort and safety (please see section d for more information).

Facilities Provided By Other Companies

Third-party retailers provide catering at stations. We will make sure that any new or renewed tenancy agreements include obligations under the Equality Act 2010. The location of retailers’ premises will not affect the accessibility of the station or its facilities.

Staffing Hours And Unstaffed Stations

At stations where there are no staff to help you; our conductors can help you to get on and off the train (for example, by using the on-board ramp). In this case, you need to be on the platform before the train arrives and in a comfortable amount of time for you. (Please see Section 3.b for information and advice on unstaffed stations and Section 3.c for connections).

Once you have been assisted in boarding a train, our staff will communicate with the on-train staff and destination station staff, as appropriate, to ensure you are provided with assistance to alight the train.

If you need help at an unstaffed station or a station where there are only ticket office staff, please contact the Assisted Travel team. If you arrive at an unstaffed station and need help but have not booked assisted travel in advance, please contact the Assisted Travel team. You will find contact details on the information poster at the station entrance. The Assisted Travel team can arrange alternative transport for you or organise for a conductor to help you on or off the train if you can get
to the platform (for contact details please see section 4).

We make sure that specific arrangements are made for passengers needing help at any station when a special event is taking place nearby (especially at Cardiff Central and Chester stations). We also make sure that the arrangements for providing help at any station are shown on each station’s page on the National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) and our Station Accessibility Information provides details on accessibility https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility

Additionally please see the National Rail Accessibility Map. Available at the following link www.accessmap.nationalrail.co.uk. This map contains information about the accessibility of each station on the UK Rail Network, including if a station is step free, the availability of accessible toilets and if the station has changing places facilities

Assisted Travel Without Booking

If you cannot book assisted travel in advance, we will still provide help if possible, but this may take longer to arrange. Please speak to a member of station staff they will help you get on your intended train or the next available one. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the time of your intended train so that staff can make arrangements to escort you to the platform in plenty of time to board your train.

At stations where there are no staff to help you; our conductors can help you on board (for example, by using the on-board ramp). In this case, you need to be on the platform in time for the train.

(Please see Section 3.b for advice on unstaffed stations and Section 3.c for connections). Alternatively detailed information about the accessibility features of our stations is available by contacting our Assisted Travel team, National Rail Enquiries website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) and our Station Accessibility Information available through using the following link https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility (for contact details please see section 4).

Arriving At The Station

If you have booked assisted travel in advance, when the train you are on arrives at your destination station you will be helped off it as quickly as possible and usually within 5 minutes of the train arriving. If you arrive at the last / termination station on the train’s route, you will be helped off the train within five minutes of arriving if reasonably possible.

Orange Wallet Scheme

We support the Orange Wallet Scheme, which is funded by the Welsh Government. The scheme aims to help people with a range of non-visible disabilities use public transport more easily. The wallet contains a space, which can be written on and personalised to help passengers communicate their needs to staff. It can also be a helpful tool for people with non-visible impairments (that is, disabilities and difficulties that may not be obvious to others). All our staff are aware of the Orange
wallet and trained in how it can be of assistance to our Customers. You can get a wallet from the Customer Relations team (Please see Section C). for more information please follow this link https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel

Sunflower Lanyards ‘hidden disabilities’

TfW actively support the sunflower Lanyard scheme.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard is a discreet way for adults and children with hidden / nonvisible disabilities to show that they need additional support or just a little more time. All our staff are aware of the Sunflower Lanyard and trained in how it can be of assistance to our Customers.

Sunflower lanyards are available free of charge at our ticket offices in Cardiff Central, Newport, Swansea, Bridgend, Carmarthen, Tenby, Chester and Shrewsbury. You can also get a Sunflower Lanyard from the Customer Relations team (Please see Section C for contact details). For more information please follow this link https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel or visit https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/

 

c. On The Train

New trains and a major programme of refurbishment will result in increased on-board accessibility for our customers. However, our current fleet have a number of improved accessibility features and considerations.

For more information on the Accessibility of our Current Train Fleet, please follow this link. https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/train-accessibility or contact our customer services team (See section 4).

Announcements And Information On Trains

All our trains are fitted with equipment for our conductors to make announcements. If there is a disruption, delay or similar issue, clear announcements are made. Passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing should approach a member of staff for one-to-one help.

If communication is difficult staff will be able to advise the customer of the availability of the InterpreterNow App and provide the QR code App downloader; if the customer does not already have InterpreterNow App (for more information please see section b. At The Station - InterpreterNow Live Video BSL).

Announcements are made in good time to allow older and disabled passengers to prepare to leave the train and our staff trained to recognise those who need support and provide assistance. When a change occurs, our staff will provide assistance and information to help you reach the revised departure platform, if accessible, as efficiently as possible. If the platform is not accessible, we will arrange alternative transport i.e. taxi, to the nearest accessible station.

Our Class 158 and Class 175 trains that operate on long-distance services have information screens displaying calling points and the station the train will stop at next. If no screen is available, our conductors make announcements.

Live Route Status Updates

TfW provide up to date travel information in several ways:

Web based Live Travel Updates can be found at https://tfw.wales/service-status/live-route-status (for services within the next 2 hours).

A live twitter feed, providing up to the minute travel information about any delays of unplanned disruptions in TfW across our networks and beyond. This can be found via Twitter @TfWrail

Journey check system, which upon registering provides real time, up-to-date train times, train disruption information, station facilities, lifts, toilets, ‘out of order’ status across your intended journey. Keeping you informed about any delays or disruptions via email or SMS alerts
www.journeycheck.com/tfwrail/

We have also ensured that real-time service disruption information is available on our website https://tfwrail.wales and on our mobile phone App and mobile version of the booking Process. Assisting customers before they purchase tickets, by informing them of any possible delays, planned or unexpected disruptions. (Instructions on how to get the app can be found at https://tfw.wales/ways-to-travel/rail/buy-tickets/app.

Seats On Trains

We always do our best to help older and disabled passengers get a seat. At least one designated priority seat is provided on most of our trains (please our Train Accessibility Information https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/train-accessibility). You can also reserve a priority seat or wheelchair space on all our trains services.

If you have not reserved a priority seat or wheelchair space in advance, they may not be available if another passenger is already using the seat or space, or it is reserved for a passenger later on in the journey. If there are no priority seats available, our staff will do their best to help you find a seat elsewhere. If you have a mobility device such as a walking aid, staff will help you find the most comfortable and convenient place to sit.

If You’re An Expecting Mother / Pregnant

We offer the Baby on Board scheme in recognition of the difficulties that standing on a train can present for some pregnant and expectant mothers. Intended to make travelling by train easier; we provide “Baby on Board” badges. This to encourage other passengers to offer up their seats when they spot an expecting mother / pregnant customer wearing a “Baby on Board” badge. To apply simply contact our customer relations team (contact details can be found in section 4).

Priority Seating

We aim to provide assistance to those who need help when travelling on our network. Our cleverly designed Priority seating deters people using the seats unnecessarily, reminding passengers that these seats are there for others in greater need of sitting while travelling on our network. Priority seating supports our customers to use our network in greater comfort with the confidence that a seat will be available for them if they need or ask a conductor to provide one. (For information please contact our customer relations team, contact details can be found in section 4).

Wheelchairs On Trains

There are two wheelchair spaces on every train (except the single-carriage Class 153, which has one space). We can accommodate wheelchairs with dimensions of up to 700mm x 1200mm (including footplates), with a turning radius of 900mm, and a maximum combined weight (wheelchair and passenger) of 300kg.

Please check the dimensions of your wheelchair to avoid disappointment if they cannot be carried on the train. If you use a powered wheelchair, you can use the ramps without help but staff will supervise. If you use a manual wheelchair, staff can help you if your chair has handles.

You can reserve a wheelchair space, through our Assisted Travel team, for all train services.

You can reserve a wheelchair space on trains that go between Holyhead, Manchester and Cardiff, but these services do not have wheelchair-accessible toilets and they have doors that have to be opened manually. The Assisted Travel team can tell you which trains these are. If the train you want does not have an accessible toilet, the Assisted Travel team will tell you this when you book and can suggest alternative services for you. For more information on our trains please see annex 1.

If you have not reserved a priority seat or wheelchair space in advance, they may not be available if another passenger is already using the seat or space or it is reserved for a passenger later in the journey. If there are no priority seats available, our staff will do their best to help you find a seat elsewhere. If you have a mobility device such as a walking aid, staff will help you find the most comfortable and convenient place to sit.

Mobility Scooters On Trains

We can accommodate scooters of up to 700mm x 1200mm, with a turning radius of 900mm and a combined maximum weight (scooter and passenger) of 300kg. Train companies have different rules on carrying scooters so please check before you travel.

Please follow the guidance below.

  • Check the dimensions of your scooter to avoid disappointment if it cannot be carried.
  • Keep the speed of your scooter to walking pace in and around our stations, including on the platform.
  • Stay clear of the platform edge until the train has come to a stop.
  • Unload any bags or items from the back of the scooter before going up or down the ramp.
  • Follow staffs instructions at all times.

If your scooter can be folded or dismantled into smaller parts, you can carry it on as luggage. You or someone travelling with you must carry it on.
If you are a scooter user, and you able and comfortable to do so, we ask you to transfer from your scooter to a seat, if one is available nearby.

We cannot carry tricycles on our trains or any replacement transport (including taxis), and you cannot use them in our stations, due to their size and design.
We cannot guarantee that alternative accessible transport can be provided for scooters.

Should you wish to Book Passenger Assist operators / staff will be able to advise you about onward travel with your Mobility Scooter with other rail operators.
A separate leaflet which can be found by following the below link, explains in more detail that you can bring your mobility scooter on our trains as long as it meets our guidelines. https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/mobility-scooter

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs are welcomed on our fleet and at all stations. If you have an assistance dog, you can get a reusable card to place in the reservation holder on top of the seat next to yours. This is a highly visible card that informs other customers that the space in front of that seat is reserved for an assistance dog. The cards are free of charge from the Customer Relations team (for contact details please see section 4).

Where available the Passenger Assist team can reserve two seats – one for you and the other for an assistance dog to lie in front of you (Contact details for the Passenger Assist team can be found section 4 of this leaflet).

Accessibility Of Our Trains

We use several different types of trains. All are wheelchair accessible and have at least one designated wheelchair space and one designated priority seat. Some of our trains do not have wheelchair-accessible toilets. Many of the older trains we have inherited have different degrees of accessibility features.

Our new fleet will have a range of features designed to provide improved levels of accessibility and comfort. For more information please see our Trains Accessibility Information available at https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/train-accessibility or contact the Passenger Assist team or Customer relations teams (for contact details please see section 4).

Making Connections

With trains run by other companies by booking Passenger Assist, assisted travel in advance, with us or another train company, we can help you make connections with other trains at our stations, whether or not that train is one of ours. This includes when trains change platforms or announcements are made at short notice. If you are visually impaired, we can guide you to your next train to make a connection.

We always provide assisted travel whenever we can. We recommend you book assisted travel for unstaffed stations where you need help to change trains.

To Taxis And Other Transport

At stations with assistance staff, they can help passengers to taxis or the designated pick-up point. If you have not booked assisted travel, please ask a member of platform staff. They will be happy to help, but there might be a delay. At Holyhead station, we can help you to the ferry check-in desk.

Disruption To Facilities And Services

We understand how disruption can have a worse effect on disabled and older passengers. We do everything we can to help you continue your journey comfortably, safely and with minimum inconvenience. We provide clear information to direct you to any alternative transport.

If a disruption makes services inaccessible to you, we provide alternative accessible transport. This is provided for the part of the journey where replacement transport is needed or for the whole journey if it would otherwise involve several changes between taxi and train. (Please see section d Alternative Accessible Transport for more information. Please note the restrictions for mobility scooters).

All alternative means of Accessible transport booked by TfWRail services to support your onward journey, must comply with the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR). PSVAR compliant vehicles national are limited in availability, a situation beyond the control of TfWRail services. For more information please follow the below link.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accessible-buses-and-coaches/bus-and-coachaccessibility-and-the-public-service-vehicle-accessibility-regulations-2000

When a change occurs, our staff will provide assistance and information to help you reach the revised departure platform, if accessible, as efficiently as possible. If the platform is not accessible, we will arrange alternative transport i.e. taxi, to the nearest accessible station.

Wherever possible, if you have booked Passenger Assist in advance and we know that there will be a disruption, we will try to contact you about the disruption and, if necessary, make alternative arrangements for travel. We also try to rebook your Passenger Assist, assisted travel if your journey cannot be made due to a disruption.

Please see section 4 for information on how we communicate the availability of accessibility station features such as lifts and toilets. 

 

d. If Things Do Not Go As Planned (When Things Go Wrong)

Alternative Accessible Transport

We want to make sure that passengers can make as much of their journeys as possible by rail. However, we will arrange at no extra cost alternative accessible transport, such as a taxi, for you and a companion if:

  • you cannot travel to or from a station which is inaccessible to you;
  • rail-replacement transport is inaccessible to you;
  • or a short-notice disruption to services makes services inaccessible to you.

If things go wrong on a case-by-case basis wherever possible we will aim to ensure that immediate family, especially those requiring adult supervision, are supported to travel together.

We provide this transport at no extra cost to you. We discuss what kind of taxi you need before we book it. The alternative transport takes you to or from the most convenient accessible station or staffed station where someone can help you.

We cannot guarantee alternative accessible transport for a mobility scooter because they often cannot be carried safely in a taxi. However, if you are already travelling with us in a mobility scooter when the disruption happens, we will make you as comfortable as possible while you wait for the next train.

Where disruption and delays do occur, we will do everything we can to ensure that you are able to continue your journey and are not left stranded. We will let you know what is happening through our website, social media and announcements (on the train and at the station). If the disruption means your original assistance arrangements are no longer possible, we will contact you and re-book any required assistance through Passenger Assist, including any alternative accessible transport required (without additional charge).

Our station and on-train staff are trained to assist customers with a range of needs and recognise customers who appear to have additional needs or require support if things go wrong.. They will communicate news of any service disruption and provision of alternative transport via the Customer Information Systems or, where reasonably possible, in person.

We aim to provide reliable assisted travel based on your needs. However, if something goes wrong, please let our Customer Relations team know (see section 4) and we will consider providing appropriate compensation (including a full or partial refund) depending on the circumstances.

TfW are committed to PSVAR compliancy. We make every effort to ensure that alternative means of Accessible Travel booked by TfWRail services to support your onward journey, comply with the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR). PSVAR compliant vehicles national are limited in availability, a situation beyond the control of TfWRail services.

TfW are committed to your safe and comfortable passage and will in all instances endeavour to ensure our customers’ needs are accommodated within our best efforts and abilities. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

For the latest updates regarding Walsh Governments response to PSVAR compliancy please follow the below link
(Please note that this information is accurate at the date of publication and is subject to change).

Live Route Status Updates

TfW provide up to date travel information in several ways Web based Live Travel Updates can be found at https://tfw.wales/service-status/live-route-status (for services within the next 2 hours).

We also have a live twitter feed which also provides up to the minute travel information about any delays of unplanned disruptions in TfW services across our networks and beyond. This can be found via Twitter @TfWrail

Journey check system, which upon registering provides real time, up-to-date train times, train disruption information, station facilities, lifts, toilets, ‘out of order’ status across your intended journey. Keeping you informed about any delays or disruptions via email or SMS alerts www.journeycheck.com/tfwrail/

We have also ensured that real-time service disruption information is available our website https://tfw.wales; on our mobile phone App and mobile version of the booking Process. Assisting customers before they purchase tickets, by informing them of any possible delays, planned or unexpected disruptions. (Instructions on how to get the app can be found at https://tfw.wales/ways-to-travel/rail/buy-tickets/app ).

Emergency procedures

Staff are trained in their responsibilities on the health and safety of our passengers, including evacuation procedures at stations and on-board trains. Our conductors are responsible for evacuating trains.

At a station, ramps will be used to assist wheelchair users and mobility impaired passengers onto the platforms. If evacuation routes are not accessible customers will be accompanied to a predefined safe ‘refuge’ away from danged and evacuated by fire services upon their arrival.

If a train is not at a station, our policy is not to evacuate a train unless there is immediate danger to life. In such a case, wheelchair users and mobility impaired passengers would be assisted from the train by staff with the support of emergency services.

Compensation Available to You

Redress and Compensation

When assistance has been booked but has not been provided. We will provide you with compensation for your journey. In cases where assistance is booked through our team, at any station or on one of our trains and assistance was not provided by any rail staff, we will offer you a full refund for the cost of the journey. We will be happy to assist you with your claim upon your contacting the customer relations team (Please see section 4 How To Provide Feedback Or Make A Complaint or Contact the Ombudsman).

Delay Repay Compensation

When Delays occur. We always try and ensure our trains run on time, but delays do occur sometimes and when this happens, we will offer fair and appropriate compensation. If one of our trains runs late or is cancelled for any reason, and because of that you get to your destination station 15 minutes or more later than scheduled, ‘Delay Repay’ applies.

All claims for compensation must be received by us within 28 days of completion of your journey. 

Make sure you have to hand:

  • The date of your journey
  • The time of the train that was delayed
  • The origin and destination of your journey
  • A scan or photo of the tickets purchased for your journey

Please follow the below link to fill out a Delay Repay form. https://tfw.wales/help-and-contact/rail/delay-repay
(Please see section 4 How To Provide Feedback Or Make A Complaint or Contact the Ombudsman).

4. Where To Get More Information And How To Get In Touch

We are committed to providing accurate and consistent information so disabled and older passengers can travel with confidence.

The below sections outline what we have put in place to support independent travel for all our customers but especially those with a range of disabilities and mobility needs.

The National Rail Enquiries website (nationalrail.co.uk) and the station layout guide (‘Stations Made Easy’) contain useful information about the accessibility of facilities and services at stations and on trains.

To Contact National Rail:-

  • Tel: 03457 48 49 50 or 0800 0223720 (Open 24 hours every day except Christmas Day)
  • Website: nationalrail.co.uk
  • Text Direct: 0345 60 50 600: (for people who are hard of hearing or deaf)

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way.

We are committed to providing up-to-date information for these resources and on our own website.

This includes where: -

  • stations have a physical feature which might prevent some disabled people from using it;
  • significant temporary work affects station accessibility;
  • changes to stations make them temporarily inaccessible (for example, if station lifts or toilets are out of order);
  • or changes are made to the accessibility of our trains;
  • which stations are staffed or unstaffed;
  • station Ticket Office Opening Times.

For any of the above or to report faults affecting station accessibility, please inform either station staff or alternatively contact our Customer Relations team using the below Contact details and numbers.

Station staff can get up-to-date information through a national database and can provide this information to passengers at ticket offices or Information Points (see section 3.b. At the station).

For detailed information on accessibility features of our stations, please see our Station Accessibility Information on our website https://tfwrail.wales/accessible-travel/station-accessibility

This information is updated regularly and can be printed as required. Alternatively please contact our Customer Relations on 0333 3211 202 or customer.relations@tfwrail.wales

Additionally please see the National Rail Accessibility Map. Available at the following link www.accessmap.nationalrail.co.uk. This map contains information about the accessibility of each station on the UK Rail Network, including if a station is step free, the availability of accessible toilets and if the station has changing places facilities.

 

Contact Details, Numbers and New Media

TfW Customer Relations

To contact the customer relations team,

TfW Social Media

On social media, follow:

Passenger Assist, Assisted Travel Service Opening Hours And Contact Details:

  •  By phone: call our Passenger Assist team on 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)
  • By Next Generation Text: call our Passenger Assist team via text relay service on 18001 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)

Day Of Travel Queries Or Issues:

How To Get Involved With Us To Help Improve Accessibility And Inclusivity:

How To Provide Feedback Or Make A Complaint:

Our customer services team works hard to reply to all correspondence as quickly as possible.

If You Are Not Happy With The Way The Complaint Is Dealt With, Please Contact The Rail
Ombudsman On:

5. Other Documents and Publications

TfW have created a range of other leaflets to assist your journeys and enjoyment of our Rail services. Links to these leaflets can be found by following each of their dedicated links below Or by phoning our customer relations team on 0333 3211 202 or emailing customer.relations@tfwrail.wales

These Include:

  1. Making Rail Accessible: Helping older, and disabled passengers
    To accompany the ‘Accessible Travel Policy document’, we have produced this shorter and more concise leaflet to help in planning your journey.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information
  2. TfW Accessible Travel Policy:
    A detailed explanation of our commitments and standards of service provision, as well as relevant policies and practices, of importance to disabled people using the rail network.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/policies-and-information
  3. Station Accessibility Information
    Dedicated station accessibility information. This information clearly indicates the features available at all our stations on the TfW network. We update this information as we find out about any mistakes or improvements.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/station-accessibility
  4. Train Accessibility Information
    Dedicated information about the accessibility of each of our trains in our fleet.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/train-accessibility
  5. Mobility Scooters And Wheelchairs
    A separate leaflet which can be found by following the below link, which explains that you can bring your mobility scooter on our trains as long as it meets our guidelines.
    https://tfw.wales/info-for/passengers/accessible-travel/mobility-scooter

 

Alternative Formats

All our documentation conforms to the Welsh language standards / Welsh Language act and are available Bilingually.

Alternative formats of all our document are free of charge, from the Customer Relations team. The team can provide alternative formats such as large print, Braille or audio versions. We will provide the large-print document within seven days of receiving your request, and any other formats as soon as possible.

If you would like copies of these guides or any other TfW publications in an alternative format please contact us in the following ways