12th August 2019
The first of the new fleet of Greater Anglia trains have now entered service and they feature a wide range of accessibility features thanks partly to an access and inclusion professional who personally tested wheelchair accessibility as one of the final performance and safety tests.
Dominic Lund-Conlon has been instrumental in the design of the accessible features of Greater Anglia’s new trains. Dominic, Head of Accessibility and Inclusion at the Rail Delivery Group conducted an overnight test run to give his final feedback on the sliding step which will create greater independency in boarding for many people. This retractable step at each door bridges the gap between station platform and train, making them more accessible for wheelchairs, buggies and people with mobility problems.
Dominic Lund-Conlon said:
“Working together, rail companies are introducing 7,000 new carriages across the country and the low floor trains from Stadler are a real game changer for all customers in East Anglia. With level boarding in many cases, improved customer information systems and large accessible toilets, the improvements are going to give new confidence to those travelling.
“The new trains have been designed in partnership between disabled people and rail professionals. The desire to deliver a train that is properly accessible includes better visual messaging for those with hearing impairments, stronger contrasts within the train and space for assistance animals where required. The collaborative efforts of all involved has resulted in a train fit for the future.”
Rebecca Richardson, Greater Anglia accessibility manager said:
“We have worked very hard with both the Stadler design team and our access and inclusion stakeholders and professionals to make sure these trains are offering a much better and more accessible journey experience for everyone. We took a group to Switzerland to participate in the design process and were able to offer some bespoke changes to the finished design based on their recommendations. With the help of this group of stakeholders, I’m confident that we have now commissioned the most accessible trains in the country.”
Author: Darren Porter
Image: Greater Anglia