Assisted Travel

Let us help you have a hassle-free journey

What can our Assisted Travel team help with?

Our Assisted Travel team can help you in all kinds of situations, such as:

  • Advice about access at the stations you want to use.
  • Help planning the best route and buying tickets.
  • Assisting you when you arrive at the station, change trains or reach your destination
  • Reserving seats, including wheelchair spaces and extra legroom if you’re travelling with assistance dogs.
  • Helping with all these things when buying tickets for other train operators’ services. (Some train operators don’t offer seat reservations on their services, but we can still help arrange assistance).
  • If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult, you may qualify for discounted travel – ask the Assisted Travel team for details or click here for the  discounted travel FAQs.

How to book assistance

If you know you’re going to be travelling, let us know 24 hours before your journey, and we’ll make sure the team are on hand with any help you may need. 

  • Call our Assisted Travel team on 03457 225 225, option 3. Lines are open Monday to Saturday from8am - 8pm and Sunday 10am - 8pm.
  • Request assistance online via the assisted travel form here.
  • Or use the Text Relay Service on 18001 03457 225 225

 

Accessibility onboard

Wheelchair spaces

All our trains, including Azuma, can carry wheelchairs. The maximum dimensions we accept vary on our trains:

  • Electric train 120cm long and 70cm wide in both First Class and Standard accommodation.
  • Diesel train 120cm long by 70cm wide in Standard accommodation. First Class wheelchair spaces vary on these trains, our Journey Care team will help you if you're booked to travel on this train type.
  • Azuma train 120cm long by 70cm wide in both First Class and Standard accommodation. 

A handful of our trains have a slightly different seating layout with the wheelchair space and accessible toilet being located in First Class rather than Standard.  If you have reserved a wheelchair space on one of these trains, or require a wheelchair space and one is available, we’ll upgrade you to the First Class on the train for free. Our teams at the station can advise what type of train you are due to travel on.

Accessible toilets

Electric trains

Our wheelchair accessible toilets are located in Standard coach F and coach L in First Class.

Diesel trains

Our wheelchair accessible toilets are located in Standard coach F 

However, two of our diesel trains have a slightly different design as the only wheelchair accessible toilet onboard is located in First Class, coach L. If you are due to travel on this train and you require wheelchair space, our staff will aim to seat you in coach L, subject to the space being available.

Accessible toilets on an Azuma train

There are accessible toilets on all Azuma trains but they are located in different coaches depending on the length of train you're in.

  • On a 9-coach Azuma the accessible toilets are in coach A and M
  • On a 10-coach Azuma the accessible toilets are in coach A, E, F and M
  • On a 5-coach Azuma the accessible toilets are in coach A and E.

View the Azuma seat maps here.

 

Discounted travel FAQs

If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult you may qualify for discounted travel.

Concessionary fares

If you’re registered as blind or visually-impaired and are travelling with another person then you’re entitled to special concessionary fares and discounts.

You can save:

  • 34% discount on First Class/Standard Anytime Singles or Returns
  • 34% discount on First Class/Standard Anytime Day Singles
  • 50% discount on First Class/Standard Day Returns

Please carry a document confirming your visual impairment when buying your ticket and when travelling. This must be from a recognised institution such as Social Services, your Local Authority, The Royal Institute for the Blind (RNIB) or St Dunstans'.

Wheelchair users

If you need to stay in your own wheelchair during your journey the above concessionary fares also apply if you are travelling alone or to any one adult travelling with you. 

Disabled Person’s Railcard

If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult you might qualify for the Disabled Person's Railcard.

A Railcard gives you and an adult companion 1/3 off most Standard and First Class fares throughout the UK. It also lets you purchase discounted tickets on the train you’re travelling on.

Find out more with the ‘Rail travel made easy’ guide published by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). These are available at major stations, or at www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk.

A one year card currently costs £20. A three year card is also available for £54.

Season tickets for the visually impaired

If you are blind or visually-impaired you can buy a season ticket that allows a companion to travel with you for free. You can buy these tickets at staffed stations, just remember to carry a document confirming your visual impairment when buying your ticket and travelling. This needs to be from a recognised institution such as Social Services, your Local Authority, The Royal Institute for the Blind (RNIB) or St Dunstans’.

Disruption FAQs

We'll do our best to take care of you during disruptions

Delays & alternative transport

If the train you are due to catch is seriously delayed, we’ll make sure you have a suitable place to wait in the station. We will also help out if there’s a platform change too.

 If your train is seriously delayed or cancelled before you reach your final destination (as shown on your train ticket) we’ll do our best to get you there by other means, either by arranging a seat for you on another train or by alternative transport suitable for your needs. If we still can’t get you to your final destination, we will get you as close as reasonably possible. Where necessary, we will arrange overnight hotel accommodation for you until we can get you there.

If you are travelling on a train operated by another train company and due to circumstances within their control that train is unable to continue its journey, they will try to get you to your final destination by other means.

In certain circumstances, according to the conditions set down in our Passenger's Charter, compensation and refunds will be available.

You can find out more about our Delay Repay policy here.

When services and facilities are unavailable

We always do our best to make sure that the facilities you need to use on our services, such as lifts and call-for-assistance buttons, are in good working order. If they fail and cannot be repaired immediately, our Assisted Travel team will be informed of the problem and estimated repair time as soon as possible. We also pass this information on to other train operators. Wherever possible, we will offer other means of access or alternative transport free of charge.

We will consult the Department for Transport about any facilities we remove permanently and provide a suitable replacement. Very occasionally, trains may not have the anticipated wheelchair spaces or wheelchair-accessible toilets in place if, for example, the appropriate coach is not available. In the rare cases of wheelchair-accessible toilets not working, we’ll give you the option of catching a different train.

Emergency evacuation

Each station has an individual station evacuation plan that describes procedures to be adopted by employees if there’s a fire, security alert or similar incidents. The plan defines specific responsibilities for each party involved in the emergency. Our people are trained in these procedures at induction training and subsequently through regular briefings. These plans will be regularly reviewed and we will endeavour to consult with appropriate disability groups.

 Our on-train employees are trained in Emergency Evacuation procedures, including the evacuation of customers with disabilities. If you use a wheelchair, our normal policy is not to evacuate you until appropriate support is available unless you are in a life-threatening situation. Our plans will be subject to regular review in consultation with organisations that represent the interests of people with disabilities.

Azuma accessibility FAQs

How many wheelchair spaces does an Azuma train have?

Are there wheelchair spaces in First Class?

What happens if my train has no Standard wheelchair spaces?

Are there companion seats with all the wheelchair spaces onboard?

Are there priority seats on Azuma?

Are boarding ramps required for Azuma trains?

Do the new Azuma trains have announcements onboard?

What will the seat reservations look like onboard an Azuma train?

Are there accessible toilets onboard?

Do the windows have blinds on an Azuma?

Do the wheelchair spaces have plug sockets on an Azuma train?