Information published on 11 February 2014 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 385.

France: Régiolis, the first certified 100% accessible trains for customers with reduced mobility

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Due to enter commercial service on the TER network from April 2014, Régiolis trains have just been certified as 100% accessible in accordance with the Technical Specification for Interoperability for Persons with Reduced Mobility (TSI-PRM), the European technical standard concerning access for all passengers. This certification is the culmination of a large-scale project which highlights the ambitions of the region, the government and SNCF in terms of regional and inter-regional mobility for all. The new rolling stock exceeds the requirements established in the TSI.

Making rail accessible for all

Boarding, travelling and alighting are all stages of a train journey that could potentially present an obstacle for people with disabilities and with reduced mobility. Working alongside organising authorities, SNCF is committed to making rail transport and railway stations more accessible to everyone. The state-of-the-art technologies used in the Régiolis trains make access easier, facilitating independent travel for passengers with disabilities.

Overview of accessibility features

Easier access: Bridge plates on the doors of dedicated spaces for wheelchair users enable passengers to board the train more easily.

Easy movement: The low-floor cars allow easy movement and access for passengers onboard.

Dedicated space: Dedicated spaces for wheelchair users feature SOS buttons with interphones and two seat spaces for accompanying passengers. Information screens are visible and audible from all seating areas, including designated priority seats. Seat heights are adapted for travellers with guide dogs to allow the dog to lie underneath the seat.

Adapted levels of contrast: More pronounced contrasts of the interiors and entry/exit doors for people who are sight-impaired. Based on recommendations by professional associations, there is a contrast of at least 70%.

More spacious toilets: The toilets designed for wheelchair users are equipped with manual locks, signage with braille and lighting, automatic door opener, call buttons and automatic buttons and enough space for wheelchair users to access the various facilities.
The developments undertaken are the result of a successful collaboration between disability associations, the various regions and SNCF, making Régiolis the first train to meet TSI-PRM criteria.
By offering, for example, an assistive device to identify doors (door-talking system), increasing the levels of contrast for visually-impaired persons or providing information screens that are visible from designated priority seats, Régiolis is in fact exceeding these standards.

The TSI-PRM establishes standards in order to harmonise and achieve access to the railway network at European level.
Régiolis was presented in July 2013 to the national disability associations which commended the facilities that were designed with their cooperation.

(Source: SNCF)