Accessible Train Travel and Facilities
At National Rail we want everyone to be able to access stations and trains
We understand that some customers will be more confident travelling with a little extra support and information.
Our Live Trains page may show you the services and facilities available onboard your train (for example, the location of disabled toilets), if that information is available.
If you require assistance for any part of your journey, please visit our Passenger Assist page for information on how to buy your ticket, plan your journey or request assistance, so that you can travel with confidence.
You can ‘turn up and go’ without booking assistance in advance, but if you require assistance at short notice please make yourself known to a member of staff or use a Help Point when you arrive at the station.
You can also contact your train company to find out details of facilities and train formations. See the Train companies section below for links to their accessible travel pages. You can check which train company runs your service by entering the details in our Journey Planner.
You may also be entitled to a Disabled Persons Railcard, which gives you and an adult companion 1/3 off most train fares.
Travelling with your wheelchair
Most trains can accommodate wheelchairs that are within the dimensions prescribed in government regulations covering train design (700mm wide by 1200mm long). There are a small number of older trains that can only currently carry wheelchairs that have a maximum width of 550mm.
There are a limited number of spaces available to wheelchair users on each train, so we recommend making a reservation if one is available. If a space isn’t available onboard because they’re reserved by other customers, the Passenger Assist team will help you find the right options for your journey.
Discounted travel for wheelchair users
Customers travelling with a wheelchair who do not hold a Disabled Persons Railcard can travel with a discount for themselves and an adult companion. Details of the discount scheme for wheelchair users without a Railcard can be found in the Special Offers section of this site.
Powered mobility scooters
Because mobility scooters come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and different train companies may have different policies, we recommend that you check the dimensions of your non-folding scooter with the train company you plan to travel with, or contact Passenger Assist on 08000 223 720.
Note: When we use the terms scooter or powered scooter on National Rail services, we define them as class 2 and class 3 invalid carriages, as defined by the government’s rules on scooters and powered wheelchairs. For clarity – 2-wheeled electric scooters are not considered mobility aids by law.
Visually impaired customers
While many train stations in the UK carry great historical value, not all of them have been modernised to the extent that they are fully accessible. For example, more than 2 million people in the UK live with sight loss, and studies have found that they face a higher risk at train stations than the general public.
Rail travel can be challenging for people who are blind or visually impaired. That’s why Passenger Assist have put together tips and highlight important accessibility features and services which can help make your train trip easier, more affordable and more enjoyable. Find out more on the Passenger Assistance website.
Discounted travel for visually impaired customers
An industry-wide discount scheme allows visually impaired customers without a Railcard to travel at a discounted fare with an adult companion. Details of this discount scheme can be found in the Special Offers section of this site.
We welcome all trained assistance dogs on our services. We offer the Assistance Dogs Travel Scheme, supported by Assistance Dogs (UK). The scheme aims to raise awareness of the needs of assistance dog owners among rail staff and customers.
How the Assistance Dog Travel Scheme works
The scheme helps customers travel confidently with their assistance dogs.
You get a personal, highly visible and reusable Assistance Dog Under Seat card that either slots into the standard seat reservation holder on top of the seat (where these are available) or can be placed on the cushion on the seat next to yours. The card creates a 'protected space' for your dog and lets other customers know the seat and the space under it should be kept free.
If you need help getting on and off the train or finding your seat, ask the conductor or a member of station staff for assistance. For help planning your journey, contact Passenger Assist.
Apply for your card
If you would like an Assistance Dog Under Seat card sent direct to your home free of charge, please contact Passenger Assist.
Every train company in Britain accepts the Sunflower lanyard and card, used by passengers with non-visible disabilities to discretely indicate to rail staff that they may need additional assistance at stations or during their journey.
Passengers who would like a Sunflower lanyard or card can obtain one from staff at their local station across England, Scotland and Wales, or contact Hidden Disablities.
You can find your train company’s accessible travel information below.
Assistance dog image credit: Guide Dogs