Project: Rail Vehicle Accessibility:Platform to Vehicle Gaps

Reference: UG331

Last update: 13/04/2006 14:32:47


The objectives of this project, are as follows:

1. identify the maximum and optimum gaps between rolling stock and station platforms, to ensure safe and easy access by passengers, including disabled and older people;

2. To look at the engineering options and constraints both for the rail infrastructure and for the rolling stock; and

2. To recommend a range of cost effective options for achieving optimum boarding configurations for passengers, including those with mobility difficulties and wheelchair users.


This would consider the effect of the requirements of the Regulations and assess whether further guidance is needed and whether changes to the Regulations are required. Three separate projects will start this year to consider: boarding issues, audible warnings of door operation and the safety of wheelchairs in trains and trams.


W S Atkins Railway Consultancy
Brunel House, RTC Business Park, Derby, DE1 2WS
01332 225522

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £299,744.68

Actual start date: 15 May 2002

Actual completion date: 30 March 2003


Significant Steps
Author: WS Atkins
Publication date: 18/02/2005
Source: DfT Website
More information:

Summary of results

  1. The research produced a figure for the maximum acceptable stepping distance and maximum angle for a wheelchair ramp. These showed that most trains and stations do not achieve this measure. The results are credible and will be used to support changes in vehicle and infrastructure design.