Accessibility of Indian Railways

Northern Railways, Ministry of Railways has set an excellent example of user-service provider partnership in providing accessible facilities for disabled persons. Samarthyam, National Centre for Accessible Environments, a civil society organization access audited the New Delhi Railway station and vetted plans of Anand Vihar station in 2007. Accessible design standards and users perspective was incorporated in the blue prints of Anand Vihar and redevelopment plans of New Delhi railway station. Samarthyam presented report recommendations with Universal Design features to DRM, Delhi Division and Chief Engineer (Construction), Northern Railways

Samarthyam is working on Accessible Railway Coaches with toilets and transit/ boarding device with Research Design Standards Organization (RDSO), Rail Coach Factory (RCF) and Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Ministry of Railways, Government of India. The plans through mock ups and sensitization trainings have been worked out and all trains will have one “Compartment for Disabled” with accessible toilet and seat area to assist passengers with mobility aids to use the facilities of Indian Railways with comfort and dignity.

In some metropolitan cities, Indian Railways, for the first time has also introduced passenger ferry vehicle which is accessible for persons with reduced mobility.

Currently, Samarthyam is working with Indian Railways to design a lift for lifting wheelchair passengers from platform to coach. A prototype is tested at New Delhi Railway station in 2011 and vendors are being contacted by Northern Railways to provide the same.