Belgium’s national rail moves to make its stations more accessible
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Belgium’s national rail moves to make its stations more accessible

Credit: Belga

Belgian railway company SNCB will speed up the adaptation of its stations so that people with reduced mobility will eventually be able to take the train independently.

The railway company will also adapt the design of its new double-decker trains with the upcoming order to bridge the difference in height with the platforms. The modified trains could be used “in the coming years,” according to a spokesman.

With a new accessibility policy, SNCB wants to ensure that passengers with reduced mobility can take the train independently as much as possible. Among other things, the railway company has laid down that all platforms must be 76 centimetres high and that all newly ordered trains must be given that boarding height.

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That is why the design for the forthcoming order for the new M7 double-decker coaches, 445 of which are already being delivered, will also be adapted to allow autonomous access to them. At present, passengers with reduced mobility still need assistance to get onto the carriages.

On the sections where the new M7 trains will run, adjustments will also be accelerated to make the stations fully accessible. This means that the station will be equipped with ramps and lifts to each platform, blind guide lines, easily accessible ticket machines and platforms with a height of 76 centimetres.

By 2025, the SNCB wants to double the number of such stations from 78 now to 150.

The Brussels Times