Travelling by train need not be stressful! I was always afraid of travelling by myself when I first became a wheelchair user and would talk myself into a panic by mulling over in my head everything that could go wrong. After a couple of trips on the train, with a companion, I soon realised how easy it was and now there is no stopping me! Travelling by train gives me independence and a chance for me to go meet friends and family for a day out.
All operational train companies have a passenger assist service. These can be contacted by phone or email. By telling them your booking reference number and date and travel times they will have someone to meet you on the platform and assist with you getting on and off the train. Even if you have to change trains on route, passenger assistance will be there to help with your change. Some of the older trains and short journey trains do not have wheelchair accessible toilets on board, so it is worth checking before your journey… you don’t want to get caught out.
If a refreshment trolley doesn’t come through the train, a member of staff will go to the refreshment car for you to get you a drink if you require one.
The located wheelchair space can be a bit of a tight squeeze to manoeuvre a wheelchair into, especially if someone ignores the signs and puts their luggage in the designated space.
The WHILL is very nippy for getting into small spaces. The front wheel design on the chair enables it to have a very tight turning circle. It is so easy to handle.
Plan your train travel in advance and make sure that you have booked travel assistance. Travelling off peak is better when the trains are less busy –its better than battling through the rush hour commuters. The WHILL is ideal for train travel because of its excellent manoeuvrability and tight turns.