3 Trains

3.1 Introduction

Railways have requirements for universal design that includes access to the vehicle material, being able to move between carriages and rows of seats inside passenger carriages, access to information and universal design of the infrastructure in station areas.

3.2 On train transport and universal design

Train transport is important for many passengers with disabilities, both those who commute to and from education or work, and those who are going on longer journeys in the country.

3.2.1 Requirements in law and regulations

Railway legislation includes the following legislation:

Regulation on national technical requirements etc. for railway infrastructure on the national railway network (Jernbaneinfrastrukturforskriften)

This regulation is pursuant to the Railway Act and was laid down in 2011-07-01 by the Norwegian Railway Authority. The Regulations address requirements for universal design of platforms and that height and distance differences between trains and platforms shall be minimized so that passengers’ safety when boarding and disembarking is safeguarded.

Regulation relating to vehicles on the railway network (Kjøretøyforskriften)

The Regulation is pursuant to the Railway Act and was adopted 2017-07-01 by the Norwegian Railway Authority. The regulation does not require universal design, but adaptation.

Appendix to the Regulation – requirements for vehicles cover permits for use. Section 5.1.2.  Boarding aids states that:

“The use of boarding aids to reduce the gap between platform and vehicle should always be considered. If the gap between the platform and the vehicle is indefensible, suitable boarding aids must be found on vehicles or platforms for safe boarding and disembarkation for safety reasons. The requirements in TSI PRM section apply correspondingly to such boarding aids.”

The Regulation also addresses seats and special arrangements for disabled people, special passenger facilities and lifting systems. Furthermore, the Regulation addresses emergencies and evacuation of people with disabilities.

Regulation relating to requirements for tramways, metros, suburban railways etc. (Kravforskriften)

The Regulation entered into force in 2015-01-01 and addresses several relevant requirements:

  1. Platforms – length, height and distance differences;
  2. Tunnels and bridges;
  3. Evacuation

Regulation relating to the implementation of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1300/2014 of 18 November 2014 on the technical specifications for interconnectivity with regard to accessibility of the Union’s railway system for disabled and disabled persons (TSI-PRM)

The Regulation entered into force in 2015-09-28 and is pursuant to the Railway Act and the Interoperability Regulation.

The Regulation stipulates that TSI-PRM applies in accordance with the EEA Agreement and is enforced by the Norwegian Railway Authority.

Figure 11: Heggedal station with hazard areas and guide lines (Photo: BaneNor v/Terje Borud.)[/caption]

EU legislation

Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 October 2007 on the rights and obligations of rail passengers

Among other things, the Regulation addresses requirements in connection with rights for train passengers with disabilities. This includes:

  1. travel information should be specially adapted to the needs of hearing and visual impairments;
  2. in the event of delays, the railway business shall pay special attention to the needs of passengers with disabilities and their needs;
  3. prohibition against discrimination against passengers when boarding and transporting;
  4. obligation to information to passengers with disabilities if the person concerned is refused boarding for safety reasons;
  5. requirements for availability of platforms, stations and wagons;
  6. requirements for facilitation at unmanned stations and stations without accompanying personnel;
  7. requirements for assistance at stations;
  8. requirements for assistance on board the train;
  9. conditions for assistance – requirements for advance notice, etc.;
  10. requirement for replacement of aids.

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No. 1300/2014 of 18 November 2014 on the technical specifications for interconnectivity with regard to availability of the Union’s railway system for persons with disabilities or mobility impairments

TSI-PRM states the following provisions:

Article 1


By this Regulation, the technical specification for interconnectivity (TSI) is laid down with regard to the availability of the Union’s railway system for persons with disabilities and persons with disabilities, as set out in the Appendix.

Article 2


  1. The TSI shall apply to the subsystems “Infrastructure”, “Operation and traffic management”, “Telematics programmes” and “Rolling stock” as described in No. 2 of Appendix II to Directive 2008/57/EC and in No. 2.1 of the Annex to this Regulation. It covers all aspects of these subsystems that are relevant to the availability of people with disabilities or mobility.
  2. The TSI will apply to the following rail networks:
  3. a) The trans-European railway system for conventional trains, as described in No. 1.1 of Appendix I to Directive 2008/57/EC.
  4. b) The trans-European railway system for high-speed trains, as described in No. 2.1 of Appendix I to Directive 2008/57/EC.
  5. c) All other parts of the railway network.

The TSI does not cover the cases mentioned in Article 1 no. 3 of Directive 2008/57/EC.

3. The TSI shall apply to all new infrastructure or rolling stock in the Union’s railway system mentioned in No. 1 which is used after the date of application set out in Article 12, taking into account Nos. 7.1.1 and 7.1.2 of the Annex.

4. The TSI shall not apply to existing infrastructure or rolling stock in the Union’s railway system mentioned in No. 1 already used on the railway network (or parts therein) in a Member State on the date of application set out in Article 12.

5. However, the TSI shall apply to existing infrastructure and rolling stock in the Union’s railway system mentioned in No. 1 if it is to be renewed or upgraded in accordance with Article 20 of Directive 2008/57/EC, taking into account Article 8 of this Regulation and No. 7.2 of the Annex to this Regulation.

Article 3

Compliance evaluation

  1. The procedures for conformity assessment of as well as power components and subsystems mentioned in Section 6 of the Annex shall be based on the modules stipulated in Commission Decision 2010/713/EU(1).
  2. The certificate for type testing or construction control for as well as power components is valid for five years. During this time, new components of the same type can be used without reassessment.
  3. Certificates mentioned in Paragraph 2 issued in accordance with the requirements of Resolution 2008/164/EC are valid until the originally set expiry date, without the need for a new conformity assessment. In order for a certificate to be renewed, the structure or type shall be re-evaluated only in relation to new or amended requirements specified in the Annex to this Regulation.
  4. Modules for universal toilets assessed against the requirements of Commission Resolution 2008/164/EC shall not be reassessed if they are intended for rolling stock of existing construction as defined in Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1302/2014(2).

Article 4

Special cases

  1. As regards the special cases mentioned in Paragraph 7.3 of the Annex, the requirements that shall be met in the verification of interconnectivity in accordance with Article 17 no. 2 of Directive 2008/57/EC are the applicable technical regulations in use in the Member State that permit the use of the subsystems covered by this Regulation.
  2. By July 1, 2015, each Member State shall notify the other Member States and the Commission of
  3. a) the technical regulations mentioned in No. 1,
  4. b) which conformity assessment and verification procedures will be used when applying the technical regulations mentioned in No. 1,
  5. c) which bodies appointed in accordance with Article 17 no. 3 of Directive 2008/57/EC shall carry out the procedures for conformity assessment and verification with respect to the special cases specified in No. 7.3 of the Appendix.

Article 5

Far advanced projects

In accordance with Article 9(3) of Directive 2008/57/EC, each Member State shall, within one year after this Regulation has entered into force, pass the Commission a list of ongoing projects on its territory that are far advanced.

Article 6

Innovative solutions

  1. Technological developments may require innovative solutions that do not comply with the specifications specified in the appendix or to which the assessment methods specified in the appendix cannot be applied.
  2. Innovative solutions can affect the “Infrastructure” and “Rolling Stock” subsystems and their parts and components.
  3. If an innovative solution is proposed, the manufacturer or its representative established in the Union shall state in what way it deviates from the relevant provision in the TSI specified in the Annex and present it to the Commission for investigation. The Commission may ask the Agency to comment on the proposed innovative solution and may consult with relevant parties concerned.

(1) Commission Decision 2010/713/EU of 9 January 2019 November 2010 on modules for procedures for assessment of compliance, use resistance and EC verification to be used in the technical specifications for interconnectivity adopted in accordance with European Parliament and Council Directive 2008/57/EC (EUT L 319 of 4.12.2010, p. 1).

(2) Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1302/2014 of 18 November 2014 on a technical specification for interconnectivity with respect to the subsystem “Rolling stock – locomotives and rolling stock for passenger traffic” in the European Union Rail System (EUT L 356 of 12.12.2014, p. 228).

  1. The Commission shall comment on the proposed innovative solution. If the statement is positive, appropriate functional and interface specifications and the assessment method required in the TSI to make it possible to use this innovative solution shall be prepared and then incorporated into the TSI in the audit process. If the statement is negative, the proposal for an innovative solution cannot be used.
  2. Pending the revision of the TSI, the positive statement issued by the Commission shall be deemed acceptable to document compliance with the basic requirements of Directive 2008/57/EC, and can be used for assessment of subsystems and projects.

Article 7

Status overview

  1. Each Member State shall ensure that a status overview is established and implemented with a view to
  2. a) identify barriers to accessibility,
  3. b) provide information to users,
  4. c) monitor and assess progress with respect to accessibility.

The Agency shall establish and operate a working group responsible for submitting proposals for recommendations with regard to minimum requirements for the structure and content of the data to be collected for the status overviews. The Agency shall present a recommendation to the Commission, including content, data format, functional and technical architecture, mode of operation, rules for recording and accessing data and rules for self-assessment and designation of the entities responsible for providing data. In order to identify the most advantageous solution, the recommendation shall take into account the estimated costs and benefits of all the technical solutions being considered. It should include a proposal for the time when the status overview is created.

  1. On the basis of the Code of Practice referred to in Paragraph 2, Chapter 7 of the Annex shall be updated in accordance with Article 6 of Directive 2008/57/EC.
  2. The scope of application of these status overviews shall include at least
  3. a) public areas at stations specifically intended for passengers as defined in No. 2.1.1 of the Annex,
  4. b) rolling stock as defined in No. 2.1.2 of the Annex.
  5. The status overview shall be updated with data on new infrastructure and rolling stock and on renewal or upgrade made to existing infrastructure and rolling stock.

Article 8

National implementation plans

  1. Member States shall adopt national implementation plans, which shall at least contain the information listed in Appendix C of the Annex, with the aim of gradually removing all identified barriers to accessibility.
  2. The national implementation plans shall be based on existing national plans and, if such, the status overview mentioned in Article 7, or any other relevant and reliable source of information. Member States determine the scope and pace of implementation of the national plans.
  3. The national implementation plans must have a maturity of at least ten years and must be updated regularly, at least every five years.
  4. The national implementation plans shall contain a strategy, including a priority rule that sets out the criteria and priorities for stations and units with rolling stock to be renewed or upgraded. This strategy shall be formulated in cooperation with the infrastructure manager(s), station manager(s), railway undertakings and, if necessary, other local authorities (including local transport authorities). Representative user associations, including for persons with disabilities or mobility, shall be consulted.
  5. In each Member State, the priority rule mentioned in No. 4 shall replace the rule specified in Appendix B to the Annex that applies until the national implementation plan in each Member State has been adopted.
  6. Member States shall submit their national implementation plans to the Commission no later than 1 January 2017. The Commission shall publish the national implementation plans and any subsequent amendments reported in accordance with No. 9 on its website and notify Member States of them through the Committee appointed by Directive 2008/57/EC.
  7. Within six months of the notification process being completed, the Commission shall prepare a comparative overview of the strategies in the national implementation plans. On the basis of this overview, and in cooperation with the advisory body mentioned in Article 9, it shall identify common priorities and criteria for promoting the implementation of the TSI. These priorities shall be incorporated into Chapter 7 of the Annex during the audit process in accordance with Article 6 of Directive 2008/57/EC.
  8. Member States shall revise their implementation plans in accordance with the priorities mentioned in No. 7 within twelve months of the adoption of the revised TSI.
  9. Member States shall report the revised national implementation plans mentioned in No. 8 and any other up-to-date implementation of the national implementation plans mentioned in No. 3 to the Commission no later than four weeks after they have been approved.

Article 9

Advisory body

  1. The Commission shall establish an advisory body to assist the Commission with close monitoring of the implementation of the TSI. The advisory body shall be headed by the Commission.


  1. The advisory body shall be established no later than 1 February 2015, and shall consist of
  2. a) those Member States wishing to participate,
  3. b) representative bodies from the railway sector,
  4. c) representative brukerorganisasjoner,
  5. d) The European Railway Agency.


  1. The advisory body’s tasks include:
  2. a) monitoring of the preparation of minimum requirements for the data structure for the status overview,
  3. b) support for Member States in the work to finalise their status overviews and implementation plans,
  4. c) assistance to the Commission with monitoring of the implementation of the TSI,
  5. d) simplification of the exchange of best practice,
  6. e) assistance to the Commission in finding common priorities and criteria for the implementation of the TSI as mentioned in Article 8,
  7. f) if relevant, recommendations to the Commission, in particular to strengthen the implementation of the TSI.


  1. The Commission shall notify Member States of the activities of the advisory body through the committee appointed by Directive 2008/57/EC.

Article 10

Final provisions

Complete compliance with the TSI is mandatory for projects receiving financial support from the Union for the renewal or upgrade of existing rolling stock or parts thereof, or for the renewal or upgrade of existing infrastructure, in particular a station or any part thereof and platforms or parts thereof.

Article 11


Resolution 2008/164/EC will be repealed from 1 January 2015.

However, it will continue to apply to

  1. a) subsystems approved in accordance with the decision,
  2. b) projects for new, renewed or upgraded subsystems that on the date of announcement of this Regulation are far advanced or covered by an agreement under implementation,
  3. c) projects for new rolling stock of existing construction, as mentioned in No. 7.1.2 of the Annex to this Regulation.

Article 12

Entry into force

This Regulation enters into force on the 20th day after it is announced in the Time of the European Union.

It will be in effect from January 1, 2015. Before January 1, 2015, however, permission may be granted for use in accordance with the TSI specified in the Annex to this Regulation.

The document also has a number of technical additions:

  1. Appendix A: Standards or normative documents referenced in this TSI Appendix B: Temporary priority rule for upgrading/renewing drives
  2. Appendix C: Information to be provided in a national implementation plan
  3. Appendix D: Assessment of as well as power components
  4. Appendix E: Assessment of the subsystems
  5. Appendix F: Renewal or upgrade of rolling stock
  6. Appendix G: Beeps for exterior passenger doors
  7. Appendix H: Priority Seat Diagrams Appendix I: Wheelchair Space Diagrams
  8. Appendix J: Free Passenger Diagrams
  9. Appendix K: Corridor width table for areas accessible by wheelchair in rolling stock
  10. Appendix L: Range for a wheelchair user
  11. Appendix M: Wheelchairs that can be transported on trains
  12. Appendix N: Signs for people with disabilities or mobility

Read the full TSI-PRM document in Norwegian here: file:///C:/Users/Laptop3/Dropbox%20(Universell%20Utforming)/Universell%20Utforming/Tilskudd/2%20Bufdir/2020/Reisekjeden%20buss%20og%20bane/04%20Bakgrunnsinfo/TSI%20PRM%202015.pdf


3.2.2 From guidelines and standards

Rail transport is an area covered by both standardisation and legislation. There are currently nine European standards that set requirements for the design of passenger cars, infrastructure and more. In Norway and the rest of Europe, in particular, the standard Technical specification for interoperability regarding “persons with reduced mobility” in the trans-European rail system for conventional trains and high-speed trains TSI) is important. (In this context, persons with reduced mobility are understood as people with disabilities). The standard has the power of law in Europe and applies since 2008 to the entire trans-European railway system. Each EEA Member State should adopt regulations that met the requirements of the TSI.

The TSI applies, among other things, to technical and geographical scope of application, infrastructure and rolling stock, requirements for safety and reliability and description of subsystems, including:

  • functional specifications and technical specifications;
  • parking facilities for people with reduced mobility;
  • obstruction-free walkway;
  • marking walkways;
  • doors and entrances;
  • floor surfaces;
  • transparent obstacles, such as glass walls;
  • requirements for the as well as the as-fast components;
  • ticket sales;
  • lighting;
  • emergency exits;
  • alarms, etc.;
  • toilets;
  • customer information;
  • boarding facilitation aids mv.;
  • interoperability components: infrastructure, rolling stock;
  • assessment of compliance and/or useability: compliance assessment;
  • assessment of maintenance, operating rules and individual vehicles, certification and monitoring systems.

A comprehensive system has been implemented that will work together to ensure equal access to travel by train, and an additional challenge is when older railway material is inserted on a stretch, which does not comply with updated requirements for universal design.

Current standards affecting universal design within railways include:

  • EN 16584-1:2017 Railway – Design for persons with disabilities – General requirements – Part 1: Contrast
  • EN 16584-2:2017 Railway applications – Design for PRM use – General requirements – Part 2: Information
  • EN 16584-3:2017 Railway applications – Design for PRM use – General requirements – Part 3: Optical and friction characteristics
  • EN 16585-1:2017 Railway – Design for persons with disabilities – Equipment and components on board rolling stock – Part 1: Toilets
  • NS-EN 16585-2:2017 Railway – Design for persons with disabilities – Equipment and components on board rolling stock – Part 2: Elements for sitting, standing and moving
  • NS-EN 16585-3: 2017 Railway – Design for persons with disabilities – Equipment and components on board rolling stock – Part 3: Corridors, passages and interior doors
  • NS-EN 16586-1:2017 Railway applications – Design for PRM use – Accessibility of persons with reduced mobility to rolling stock – Part 1: Steps for access and egress
  • NS-EN 16586-2:2017 Railway – Design for persons with disabilities – Availability for persons with reduced mobility on rolling stock – Part 2: On and off help
  • NS-EN 16587:2017 Railway – Design for persons with disabilities – Requirements for obstacle-free routes for infrastructure
  • EN 301549 Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services. The present document specifies the functional accessibility requirements applicable to ICT products and services, together with a description of the test procedures and evaluation methodology for each accessibility requirement in a form that is suitable for use in public procurement within Europe. The present document is intended to be used with Web based technologies, non-web technologies and hybrids that use both. It covers both software and hardware as well as services. It is intended for use by both providers and procurers, but it is expected that it will also be of use to many others as well. The relationship between the present document and the essential requirements of Directive 2016/2102 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies is given in Annex A. The present document contains the necessary functional requirements and provides a reference document such that if procedures are followed by different actors, the results of testing are similar and the interpretation of those results is clear. The test descriptions and evaluation methodology included in the present document are elaborated to a level of detail compliant with ISO/IEC 17007:2009, so that conformance testing can give conclusive results. (Standards Norway).


3.2.3 User needs

While everyone has the same needs for a well-accessible travel chain, it is important to understand that different people face different barriers in connection with public transport travel. In the following, we review the typical challenges faced by passengers with different disabilities.

Passengers with visual impairments:

  • Orientation difficulties, such as knowing trains arriving on the platform, finding front doors on the train carriage and more.
  • Finding your way in station buildings, terminals and other infrastructure.
  • Lack of accessible information, including communication in audio format, signs with good luminance contrast and adaptable letter height.
  • Lack of defined walking zones and tactile leader lines.
  • Lack of clear contrast markings on stairs, poles, elevators and protrusions.

Passengers with hearing impairments:

  • Lack of visual dissemination of information, including real-time information in visual format, as an alternative where given over speaker.
  • Reverberation and difficult acoustics, for example, in terminals and at stations.

Passengers with reduced mobility:

  • Lack of stepless on and off train carriages.
  • Lack of stepless access to stations and platforms.
  • Incorrect operating height on automats and more.
  • Lack of sufficient resting places.
  • Wheelchair space on train carriages.
  • Inadequate maintenance of outdoor areas related to rail lines, such as snow shoveling.

Passengers with cognitive and sensory challenges

  • Information that is not easy to perceive and understand.
  • Disturbing impressions such as light and sound in the station area and associated premises.
  • Diffusing orienteering.
  • Lack of clear information when, for example, it concerns the operation of payment automats.
  • Incorrect user interface on information and communication technology.

Passengers with allergies

  • Allergic reactions due to smells, animals, plants, materials in seat covers, curtains and upholstery in train carriages, as well as discharge gases from the means of transport.
  • Poor air quality at, for example, stations, etc.
  • Food that is not marked for allergy sufferers.

3.2.4 Recommendations


  • Information in connection with train journeys should be available in several formats, including visual and auditory format.
  • Information should include accessibility of the train to be used, whether there is a need for the use of a ramp, whether there is space to move between rows of seats with a wheelchair, etc.
  • Travel information should be in clear language and be received on multiple platforms, such as mobile application, website, etc. The use of symbols and icons is also recommended.
  • Walkways to station should have the least possible height difference (max. 1:12 on short distances) and transition between pavements and pedestrian lanes no higher than 2.5 cm in height.
  • For the visually impaired, it is important that there is a height difference between the walkway and the roadway so that you do not risk moving into the roadway.
  • Maintenance of walkways by, among other things, sweeping snow and ice and a fixed and non-slip surface are also key measures, alongside requirements for visual and tactile demarcation and lighting[i].
  • Train stations should have direct access without level differences.
  • Seating, guidelines, stepless entry onto the train through sufficient height on edge stones and contrast use must be emphasized to ensure universal design.
  • The train platform and station should have space for wheelchairs and be well maintained all year round.
  • Ticket machines should have an operating height that allows use from a wheelchair; between 75 centimeters and 130 centimeters above the floor. The machine can then be used by both standing and sitting persons.
  • Automats should be positioned so that they are easy to find, reach and operate, regardless of the time of day or light and weather conditions.
  • The height of the machine can be adjustable but must be within 75 and 130 centimeters above the floor. For example, you can mount the payment terminal on a telescopic pole, which the user can adjust to their liking.
  • Train carriages should be low floor/low entrance with a ramp that ensures barrier free boarding and disembarkation for all passengers to the train carriages.
  • Proper use of contrasting colors and allocated spaces for wheelchairs and guide dogs is important.

[i] See among others prEN 15209 Specification for tactile paving surface indicators. CEN 2005