Twice as many low-mobility passengers travel by long-distance train in 2018
In 2018, 163,700 passengers with disabilities travelled on long-distance trains operated by the Russian Railways’ Holding, 96% more than in 2017, when the Holding’s services were used by 83,500 people with limited mobility.
Long-distance trains run by the Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of OJSC Russian Railways, transported 143,800 passengers with disabilities, more than twice as many as in 2017. SAPSAN high-speed trains carried 19,900 low-mobility passengers, an increase of 39%.
The Russian Railways’ Holding works every year to improve conditions and increase the availability and accessibility of travel for passengers with disabilities. Comfortable conditions are created on board the trains and the number of carriages with a specialised compartment for people with low mobility is increased annually by the acquisition of new cars and the modernisation of carriages already in operation. These specialised carriages provide lifting gear, extra-wide carriage doors, vestibule doors and aisle to allow low-mobility passengers to move around the train in their wheelchairs.
At present, 719 staff carriages equipped with compartments for passengers with disabilities are in service on Russia’s railway network. In 2018, the Federal Passenger Company acquired 28 such cars and another 43 staff cars were equipped with a special compartment during overhauls.
If a long-distance passenger train has no carriage with a compartment for people with disabilities, one may be included at the request of the passenger by submitting an application through the Russian Railways’ Mobility Assistance Centre or a ticket office. In 2018, 597 requests were processed for the inclusion of such specialised carriages in the train, 24% more than a year earlier.
The Russian Railways’ Holding provides special travel discounts to increase the availability of travel for passengers with disabilities. When buying tickets for a specialised compartment on long-distance Federal Passenger Company trains, a 50% discount is available to a disabled person and his/her companion, and 40% discount on specialised seats on Sapsan trains.
Sapsan trains have places set aside for wheelchair users which are designed to meet their specific needs. The table has no legs and folds up, there is a button for calling the conductor and a special toilet is nearby.
Passengers with limited mobility can also book special places on trains together with their electronic tickets remotely over the Internet. Tickets may be booked by wheelchair users and accompanying persons who are registered at the Russian Railways’ Mobility Assistance Centre.
In 2018, almost 5,000 electronic tickets were issued through the Russian Railways’ website, more than three times above the figure for 2017.
The Mobility Assistance Centre also accepts requests for the provision of situational assistance at railway stations.
Just call 8 (800) 775-00-00 Extension 1 (using the tone mode).
Requests can be made 3 days before the trip, but not less than 24 hours before the services must be provided.
Detailed information is published on the official website of OJSC Russian Railways