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Mobility and Transport
News article22 September 2016Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport1 min read

European Commission improves access to rail travel for passengers with reduced mobility

European Commission improves access to rail travel for passengers with reduced mobility

The European Commission will adopt today a regulation to improve the access to rail travel for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility. These new technical requirements (Technical Specifications for Interoperability-TSI) will among othersmake tactile walking surface indicators mandatory in stations and increase the door opening width. Also, in trains there will be a requirement for a minimum lighting in all train areas as well as flatter ramps in wheelchair areas.

The new rules will be applicable as of January 2015 across the whole European railway network. More citizens with disabilities and reduced mobility will thus be able to take the train under improved conditions.

The Commission will adopt at the same time a full set of revised TSIs. These new rules will simplify the technical requirements for railway and extend them to the whole railway system in the EU. This will have other benefits, including facilitating the circulation of trains across the EU and simplifying the legislation for industry and administration.

The background

Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) are adopted in accordance with the Interoperability rules (Directive 2008/57/EC ), and they define the technical and operational standards which must be met in order to ensure that trains can run throughout Europe without technical problems and meet the essential requirements (safety, reliability and availability, health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and accessibility). TSIs cover all aspects of the rail systems, such as infrastructure, energy, rolling stock, traffic operation and telematics applications for passengers and freight services. These improvements to accessibility are also in line with the objectives of Regulation (EC) 1371/2007 on rail passengers' rights and obligations and notably its provisions on the rights of persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility to access and assistance when travelling by rail.

More information

Passenger rights on Europa

Press release on Eurobarometer on rail satisfaction, including accessibility [IP/13/1239]

Videos by the European Railway Agency on removing Technical Barriers Railway Conference/Pages/videos.aspx

Technical specification of interoperability relating to persons with reduced mobility in the trans-European conventional and high-speed rail system


Publication date
22 September 2016
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport