Number of low-mobility passengers travelling on long-distance trains increased almost threefold in 2017
In 2017, 83,500 passengers with disabilities travelled on long-distance trains of the RZD Holding, 2.7 times more than in 2016, when the Company's services were used by 30,700 passengers.
Including long-distance trains, the Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, transported 69,500 passengers with disabilities, which is almost 2.5 times more than in 2016.
The number of low-mobility passengers carried on the Sapsan high-speed trains increased almost sevenfold to 14,000 people.Top of Form
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The RZD Holding carries out work every year to improve the conditions and increase the availability of travel for passengers with reduced physical capabilities, thus constantly creating ever increasing comfort on trains.
The number of carriages with a specialised compartment for passengers with reduced capabilities rises every year as the Company acquires new carriages and modernises carriages already in operation. The design of specialised carriages includes lifting equipment to help passengers board trains and an increased width of the carriage doors, as well as a vestibule zone and corridor, which allows the passengers to move around in a wheelchair, and a wheelchair lift.
At present, 646 staff wagons equipped with a compartment for passengers with disabilities are in operation on the Russian railway network. In 2017, the Federal Passenger Company purchased 13 such carriages, while another 30 staff wagons were equipped with a special compartment during their general overhaul.
In addition, 565 small wheelchairs were purchased for long distance trains in 2016-2017.
If no carriage with a compartment for people with disabilities is part of a long distance passenger train, one can be included if the passenger submits an application to the Mobility Promotion Centre of Russian Railways or a ticket office.
In 2017, 483 applications for the inclusion of specialised carriages on trains were processed.
To increase the availability of travel for passengers with disabilities from 2017, special discounts apply. When buying tickets for a specialised compartment on long-distance trains operated by the Federal Passenger Company, a disabled person and her escort can obtain a 50% discount, while a discount of 40% is given for specialised seats on Sapsan trains.
Specialised areas designated for wheelchair users on Sapsan trains differ from the standard ones. In view of the special needs involved, the table for Sapsan wheelchair users has no legs and folds up. These places are also equipped with a button to call the conductor, and nearby there is a special restroom designed for use by people with wheelchairs.
In 2017, the conditions for buying tickets for low-mobility passengers have been improved. Electronic tickets for specialised places can now be registered remotely through the Internet, including with deferred payment. Tickets can be booked by wheelchair users and accompanying persons who are registered at the Mobility Assistance Centre of Russian Railways. Currently, more than 800 people are registered and more than 1,500 electronic tickets have been booked.
The Mobility Assistance Centre can be reached on 8 (800) 775-00-00 Extension 1 (using the tonal regime).
The Centre accepts passenger requests for situational assistance at railway stations. Applications can be made three days before the trip, but not less than 24 hours before the assistance is required.
Detailed information is published on the official website of Russian Railways.
For passengers with hearing impairments who experience difficulties in communicating, a chat bot for the information-reference service has been available since last year as part of the Telegram application at @RzdrailsBot.