Our mainline and high speed trains connect London with Kent with mainline trains additionally serving East Sussex. Our metro trains operate in the south east London area.
Our modern trains have been constructed in accordance with the Rail Vehicle Access Regulations (RVAR). Future trains introduced will be constructed or refurbished in line with the Persons Reduced Mobility Technical Standards for Interoperability (PRM TSI) as these replaced RVAR in 2008.
Both of these standards ensure trains are now accessible for many more disabled people.
We are currently refurbishing our metro trains which will ensure they have wheelchair accessible toilets, wheelchair spaces and priority seating.
Aural and visual information
We update our newest trains to provide automatic visual and aural information including announcing the stopping pattern of the route and ‘next’ station announcements. Automatic announcements now mean we can tell you when the train divides en route, including coach numbers so you are able to check which part of the train you are in. Our onboard employees are also trained to make announcements relating to stations, delays and operational difficulties. Details of what is available on the different types of train are listed under train facilities.
Seats on trains
Our newest trains include priority seating, which have extra legroom and can be identified by stickers above and on the back of the seat, and on the window.
We will provide assistance where possible to help passengers in to a seat or wheelchair space. Booking assistance cannot guarantee a seat and spaces will be subject to availability, especially on busy commuter services.
Priority seating card
We have recently introduced a priority seating card which assists disabled passengers in obtaining a seat by removing the need for them to explain why they need a seat. Application forms for these can be found at ticket offices, by calling our assisted travel service or online.
On board toilets
Our mainline Class 375 and high speed Class 395 trains, have two toilets, both with baby changing fold-down tables, one of which is wheelchair accessible.
Our metro Class 465/9, 465/0 and 466 trains also have toilets with fold down baby changing facilities, but these are not wheelchair accessible. These units are going through a refurbishment programme and will all have accessible toilets when this is complete in 2020.
Metro service Class 376 trains do not have toilets on board.
Many of our trains now have dedicated wheelchair accommodation, located near to the accessible toilet and identified by the wheelchair symbol for wheelchair space on the nearest door to the spaces.
We welcome all wheelchair users on our trains. Where possible, we recommend travelling in the designated wheelchair space, but appreciate that some passengers may prefer to transfer to one of the fold down seats available in this area.
Our wheelchair accessible trains are designed to accommodate wheelchairs up to 1200mm long and 700mm wide.
Those wishing to travel in a coach that doesn’t have a wheelchair space, because they intend to transfer to a seat, should inform an employee if assistance is needed. As a matter of course employees are instructed to assist wheelchair users onto the train and into the wheelchair space, so the accessible toilet is in reach.
Wheelchairs are the responsibility of the owner when on our trains and it may need to be moved it if it is blocking a door or walkway. It may be easier to remain in your wheelchair than have to move it during your journey. You will not need to move your wheelchair if it is in the designated space.
Employees know that wheelchair users have priority to occupy the wheelchair space and will ensure that they are able to make their journey.
Scooters are welcome on many of our services but on some of our trains there are restrictions in terms of size, weight and type of scooter.
Our metro Class 376, 465 and 466 trains can only accept scooters up to 1000mm (40”) in length and up to 700mm (28”) wide (including any attachments).
When on metro Class 376 trains, the scooter must be left in the wheelchair area which is directly behind the driver’s cab. Class 465 and 466 trains do not have wheelchair spaces (but will do by 2020), so scooters need be parked in the door vestibule allowing access to the walkway.
Our high speed 395 and our mainline Class 375 and 465/9 trains accept scooters that are no longer than 1200mm (48”) and no wider than 700mm (28”) (including any attachments). The scooter must be left in the wheelchair space.
Folding/collapsible scooters that can be stored as luggage, in luggage racks, can be carried on any train type.
To help prevent scooters tipping back whilst going up the ramp please ensure that any shopping bags and similar are removed. For safety, scooter users are advised to transfer to a seat whilst on board the train.
Please note that during times of service disruption or engineering work, the operators of replacement transport services such as buses, coaches and taxis may be unable to accommodate scooters.
Alterations due to planned engineering work are publicised 12 weeks in advance, see nationalrail.co.uk for more information.
If your service is unexpectedly terminated and your journey has to be completed by road, we will ensure you reach your destination and arrangements are made for storage of scooters until they can be collected.
Please note there is a combined weight restriction of 300kg for mobility aids and the passenger on our ramps.
We are gradually introducing boxes marked on the ground to help people assess whether their scooter meets the dimensions above with the aim that all staffed stations will have these by 2018.