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Access to trains

If you have limited mobility, you can board and travel on most train services in NSW. There are some exceptions on older NSW TrainLink Regional and Intercity trains.

Find out how staff can assist you with getting on and off at train stations.

When planning an accessible trip on a NSW TrainLink train or coach service:

If you use a wheelchair or other mobility devices that meets our mobility aid specifications, you can board all Sydney and Intercity trains. Accessibility features offered on each train may vary depending on the set in operation. Trains for intercity services have accessible toilets.

Look for the wheelchair symbol for accessible entrances located at the end of carriages.

Regional and older Intercity trains can have limited accessibility. To find out your service’s accessibility features, speak with NSW TrainLink Contact Centre staff on 13 22 32.

Next stop announcements are made on board and network maps are displayed in carriages.

There are different types of access facilities at stations, however all stations have wider, easy access ticket gates to enter and exit the station.

You can look up the accessible facilities at your train stations before travelling.

Wheelchair accessible stations have a step-free path to all platforms and essential station facilities.

Other selected Sydney train stations have accessible features such as ramps and lifts to platforms, tactile tiles at platform edges, continuous handrails, hearing loops, accessible ticket counters, payphones and toilets.

When waiting at the train station for your service, there are network maps available and electronic information screens indicating when the next train is due and which train stations it will stop at. Audio announcements are made when the train is approaching.

Storage facilities for mobility aids are not available at stations.

You can call 131 500 (or NRS 133 677) to let them know about your assistance requirements in advance.

If you need to, you can use Emergency Help Points to let staff know where you are on the platform or on the train to make sure a boarding ramp is available.

There is always a gap between the platform and the train, and it may not be the same distance on every station.

Platform-to-train boarding ramps are available on the train or on the platform to help you get on or off safely. However these can only be used from the boarding assistance zones. Look for the wheelchair accessibility symbol marked on the platform.

You can ask to use a boarding ramp for wheelchairs, motorised scooters, other mobility aids, prams or just need assistance.

All trains are accessible using a platform to train boarding ramp. However, some regional trains cannot accommodate wheelchairs on board unless they fold and the occupant can board without using it.

Boarding ramps are 80cm wide with a maximum load tolerance of 300kg. This includes the weight of yourself, your aid and anyone helping you on the ramp. Read through the required specifications for mobility aids before travelling.

Most train doors and handrails are painted yellow to assist you to board safely. A warning announcement is made when train doors are closing. On some trains, this is accompanied by an electronic warning tone and a light.

Tiles with a bumpy surface are fitted along the edge of platforms to warn people with vision impairment when they are close to the edge. They are usually 60cm deep and located between the yellow line, which is around 75cm from the edge of the platform.

Some stations also have tactile tiles to help with finding the way to stairs and along concourse areas.

If staff are unavailable at the station when you need to get on the train, follow these guidelines.

  • Wait near the sixth carriage of the train in the boarding assistance zone for Sydney Train services.
  • Wait near the middle of the platform for Intercity and Regional services.
  • Ask the guard for help to board, when the train arrives. On Sydney and Intercity trains, the guards compartment is indicated by a blue light on the outside of the train.
  • The guard will put out the boarding ramp and help you board if required.
  • The guard will ensure you are safely aboard before blowing the whistle for the train to depart.
  • The guard will contact your destination or interchange station to make sure a boarding ramp is available.
  • If station staff are not available at your destination, the guard will put out the boarding ramp for you to get off the train.

If there are no staff at the station who can assist you when waiting for your service, use an Emergency Help Point or Customer Help Point on station platforms to organise help boarding your train.

If you have a disability you can use the Emergency Help Points at the station and on the train to confirm your location on board and to make sure staff and a ramp are ready and available at the station where you are getting off.

You can be seen on live CCTV, and trained operators can contact staff on board and at stations. They can also assist in an emergency.

When catching the train, staff can help you with:

  • directions to the boarding assistance zone on the platform
  • the best carriage to travel in, if you are getting off the train at a short platform station
  • getting on and off the train with the boarding ramp
  • service and trip planning information
  • the location of accessible facilities at the station
  • notifying the guard on the train of your location on board and they can contact other staff on the network to assist you with getting off the train and other legs of your trip

Staff cannot assist you with:

  • the operation of your mobility aid
  • the moving of your mobility aid, including lifting or carrying it
  • your personal care needs

Train guards and station staff have received disability awareness training and know how to assist someone who is visually impaired.

The ‘Accessing Sydney Trains’ brochure is available at all staffed Sydney Trains stations, and provides further information about accessibility on Sydney Trains. You can request a large print, braille or audio copy through Sydney Trains.