Project: Use of Colour Contrast in Rail Vehicles

Reference: R113

Last update: 20/01/2005 10:14:33


Passengers with visual impairments need some form of assistance in order to use the facilities on a train safel. The project objectives are as follow:

-to assess how this assistance can best be provided;

-to decide whether the Regulations relating to contrast in the RVAR ( Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations ) are sufficient;

-to identify those areas that are not currently regulated in this regard and recommend whether they should be covered in the future;

-to propose a practical method of measuring contrast on different surfaces and ( separately ) draft a new Appendix to the RVAR guidance and setting out agreed findings in a clear and concise manner.


The main aim for this research is to establish whether the existing requirements are useful to visually impaired passengers and if so to examine:

- what degree of contrast is adequate for most visually impaired passengers;

- how adequate contrast can best be measured and quantified, on a range of different materials, e.g. Plastics, upholstery and carpets;

- whether other measures, such as lighting can provide the same assistance;

- whether current regulations for the use of contrast should be extended, e.g. to internal doors and/ or door handles, toilet fixtures


University of Reading
School of Construction Management & Engineering, PO Box 219, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AW

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £123,425.00

Actual start date: 22 December 2004

Expected completion date: 28 February 2006