Disabled Access

Tuesday 04th December 2018
We take our responsibilities at TransPennine Express seriously, especially those relating to disabled and older passengers. So we thought we’d review our train and station access with you.

We want to make sure that we provide an exceptional service to all our passengers and make it easy for them to use our services. We also know that, for many disabled customers, public transport can be the only travel option open to them. With this in mind, we want to provide an excellent service that compliments the independence that travel offers.

To ensure that we meet with the highest standards and are continually improving we work with Transport Focus, Rail Delivery Group (RDG), the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), the Department for Transport (DfT), Rail North and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

Staff Training

We pride ourselves on our staff and make sure that everyone who works with the public has been given Disability Awareness Training developed in conjunction with a number of disability charities. This training means that our staff recognise the needs of disabled customers, including those with hidden disabilities, so they can provide support when needed.

2 Hour Passenger Assistance Service

For passengers travelling on a direct service between two TransPennine Express managed stations, you can book assistance anytime up to a minimum of 2 hours before travel.

The stations we manage are: Barnetby • Brough • Cleethorpes • Dewsbury • Grimsby • Huddersfield • Hull • Malton • Manchester Airport • Middlesbrough • Northallerton • Scarborough • Scunthorpe • Seamer • Selby • Stalybridge • Thirsk • Thornaby • Yarm

Passenger Assistance with 2 hours notice can only be booked by calling our Assisted Travel team on 0800 107 2149 or 0800 107 2061 (Minicom). The lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They’re open on Bank Holidays, except Christmas Day.

They can make sure station staff are aware of your arrival – however with this shorter notice period, they can’t book tickets or reserve seats for you during this call.

Booking tickets, reserving seats and passenger assistance above 2 hours

If you want to book a ticket, reserve a seat or wheelchair space or arrange assistance for your journey then you can organise that on the same numbers as above, or online.

Passenger assist gives you the opportunity to:
• Purchase travel tickets 

• Make seat reservations, including the booking of dedicated wheelchair spaces (where available)
• Make onward travel reservations on services operated by other train companies where reservations are available 

• Check the accessibility and facilities on our trains and at our stations 

• Request any other assistance that might be needed during your journey

You can book Passenger Assistance with any train operating company, but it’s always best to call the assisted travel team of the train operating company who manage the station where your journey starts, or on whose trains you will be travelling. You can call 0800 107 2149 or 0800 107 2061 (Minicom) and lines are open 06:00 to 23:00, 7 days a week including Bank Holidays, except Christmas Day.

Booking Online Passenger Assistance can be booked by filling this form. This will let you choose which type of assistance you require for each part of your journey. You will receive a confirmation email from the Passenger Assistance system once your booking is complete, and our Assisted Travel team may call to confirm certain aspects of your booking.

Seat reservations can be made where available. When assistance has been booked in advance, we’ll make sure that passengers are assisted off a train at its final destination as quickly as possible and within a maximum of five minutes wherever it’s practical.

By booking ahead you can:
• Arrange assistance with boarding and alighting trains, or for transferring between connecting train services. 

• Arrange for staff to help you with your luggage 
• Arrange for staff to help you with climbing stairs 

• Request help entering or exiting the station from the taxi rank or drop off point (where we have staff availability) 

• Request a portable ramp for boarding or alighting 
• Request a station wheelchair to assist with transferring between the platform and the train or moving around the station
• Book staff assistance to provide guidance around the station

If seats or wheelchair user spaces are unavailable and you can’t travel on the service you’ve booked, and no alternative service is available within the next hour, alternative transport will be provided: either to the nearest station where an alternative TransPennine Express service is available or direct to your destination station.

Seating and Wheelchair spaces on Our Trains
Wheelchair spaces on a TransPennine Express train.

On each of our Class 185, Class 350 and Nova trains there are spaces for two wheelchairs up to 1200mm x 700mm. These can be reserved by getting in touch with the assisted travel team. Unfortunately, it is not possible to access the first-class saloons on our Class 185 or Class 350 trains in a wheelchair and there are no wheelchair user spaces within the first-class saloons on either of these fleets, however this is all set to change as we introduce our new trains in 2019

We have ‘Priority Seats’ spread throughout the carriages on all our trains for older passengers or those with additional needs. These seats offer additional legroom and are positioned close to the doors to provide easy access. If you can’t find seating then let our on-train staff know and they’ll help you to find a seat.

Our new Nova trains are all compliant with EU and UK accessibility regulations, have free Wi-Fi, onboard media servers, at-seat charging points, and increased capacity over our current fleets of trains.

Planned Improvements
A disability access toilet on a TransPennine Express train.

We’re always looking to improve our services and disability access is one of our key areas.

At the moment we are installing remote lift operation to all lifts at our stations so that they can be used outside of staffed hours, giving passengers 24-hour step-free access to stations.

We’re also looking at ways to refresh and improve our accessible toilet facilities at stations, and provide these facilities where they don’t already exist.

Also our commitment to innovation means we have funding to explore and adopt the latest technology to help us identify, assist and communicate with disabled customers more efficiently and effectively.

Further information

For a more detailed guide to our policies and practices you can go here and for our downloadable Making Rail Accessible guide go here.

For information about assisted travel with TransPennine Express, visit the dedicated section on our website.

Finally, for information about a Disabled Person’s Railcard go here. Many people don’t realise they are eligible for a card but, for example, if you wear hearing aids you should qualify. The card gives you and a fellow traveller ⅓ off your journeys so it’s worth looking into, see if you qualify here.


If you have any suggestions about how else we can make travel easier for customers with disabilities, we’d love to hear them. Please send your ideas to tpecustomer.relations@tpexpress.co.uk

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