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If you are travelling in Europe with reduced mobility or a disability, you can make use of the mobility services in each country. We explain how to contact the assistance services in selected countries and what you should bear in mind when travelling.
We also tell you what your rights are throughout Europe. For example, if railway companies refuse to carry you or if your mobility equipment is damaged.
- Passenger rights on train journeys apply to persons with reduced mobility throughout the EU.
- You have the right to free assistance when boarding, disembarking and changing trains.
- People with disabilities often benefit from ticket discounts on long-distance & local services.
- Assistance must be notified at least 48 hours before the journey. From 7 June 2023, it will be sufficient to notify the assistance 24 hours before departure.
- If the railway company damages or loses your mobility aid or special equipment, you must be compensated for the damage.
These rights apply:
- Free assistance with boarding, alighting and changing trains at stations where railway staff are available.
- At stations without railway staff, information must be provided on what assistance is available on the spot and where the nearest staffed stations are located.
- If mobility aids or special equipment are damaged or lost through the fault of the railway, you must be compensated in full.
This will also apply from 7 June 2023:
- Throughout the EU, personal escorts of persons with reduced mobility will be able to travel at reduced fares and, where applicable, free of charge.
- Shortened notification period: the need for assistance can be notified up to 24 hours before the journey.
- Extended information requirements: Station operators, railway companies and ticket vendors must provide information on the accessibility of the station.
Accessible travel with SNCB
People with reduced mobility can book SNCB's free mobility service online.
Accompanying persons can travel free of charge on SNCB trains.
Assistance dogs can also travel free of charge. A certificate from a recognised training centre is required.
For the hearing-impaired, there are special counters with induction loops at most stations.
Information on accessible and assisted travel is available in Braille or audio on request.
You can contact the customer service every day from 7.00 to 21.00 on 0032 / 2 528 28 28 or by e-mail.
Finding your way around large stations can be a challenge for some people who have problems with understanding and orientation. SNCB also offers a special assistance service.
Danish State Railways: Accessible travel service
The Danish State Railways (DSB) helps people with reduced mobility to carry luggage (maximum 20 kg) and to board, disembark and change trains.
Assistance must be requested at least 12 hours before departure.
You can contact DSB's customer service from Germany on 0045 / 70 13 14 19.
Deutsche Bahn: Assistance for accessible travel
DB's Mobility Service helps people with reduced mobility to board, change or leave trains.
You can request assistance by calling +49 (0)180 / 6 512 512 or via the Deutsche Bahn Mobility Service Centre online form.
Please note: The 0180 number is a chargeable service number.
Other mobility hotlines exist for other EU countries.
You can get discounts on tickets with the German Disabled Person's Identification Card. If you have a token, you can use local transport for free.
People with reduced mobility also benefit from reduced-price tickets for long-distance travel. On selected routes you can travel for free with a token.
SNCF mobility services
The French National Railways (SNCF) offers special assistance for people with reduced mobility.
Accompanying persons receive a 50% discount on the price of a ticket, provided that the disabled person's pass certifies the need for an accompanying person.
Guide dogs and other assistance dogs can travel on all SNCF national and regional trains without a ticket or muzzle.
You just need to show your disabled pass and the dog's fitness certificate.
You can contact our Customer Services on 0033 / 1 84 94 36 35 or by email, every day from 7 am to 10 pm.
Please provide your booking reference, seat number, travel details (date & time), first name and last name.
You can also book the Mobility Service on the spot at SNCF ticket offices and shops.
Accessible travel with Thalys
You can contact the Thalys Mobility Service every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. by calling +49 (0)180 / 6 512 512. Please note that the 0180 number is a chargeable service number.
On Thalys trains, passengers in wheelchairs and their companions are entitled to the Premium Service at the price of the standard ticket.
Guide dogs and other assistance dogs can travel on all Thalys local and long-distance trains without a ticket and without a muzzle.
As proof, you will need your disabled person's card and the dog's fitness certificate.
Sala Blu: The mobility service for rail travel in Italy
In Italy, Sala Blu is responsible for the mobility service. This is a service provided by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI).
You can contact Sala Blu by telephone every day from 7.00 to 21.00: 0039 / 199 30 30 60 or by e-mail.
A wheelchair compartment with sanitary facilities and two sleeping berths is available for passengers with reduced mobility travelling on the ÖBB Nightjet from Germany via Austria to Italy.
Service d'Assistance: The CFL assistance service
If you are travelling by train, you can contact the CFL assistance service.
If you are only travelling by train within Luxembourg, you can book the service one hour in advance.
For international journeys, you must book the assistance service at least 48 hours before departure.
You can contact the customer service by telephone: 00352 / 49 90 37 37 and by e-mail.
Travelling by train: Accessibility in the Netherlands
Dutch Railways (NS) offers assistance for accessible travel.
You can book the Mobility Service online or contact them by telephone: 0031 / 30 23 57 822.
You need a customer account to book online.
Accessible travelling with ÖBB
If you have any questions, please contact the customer service on 0043 / 5 17 17-5.
Depending on the equipment of the train, up to two wheelchair places and one seat each for an accompanying person can be reserved free of charge.
If the wheelchair places are in 1st class, the wheelchair user and the accompanying person only need a 2nd class ticket for access.
Rail travel and accessibility in Poland
The Polish Railways PKP Intercity Mobility Service is available 24 hours a day: 0048 / 22 39 19 757. You can also request assistance using the online contact form.
Please contact PKP Intercity at least 48 hours before departure if you wish to use the mobility service.
Accessible travel with SBB
You can book the free accessible travel service48 hours in advance by calling 0041 / 51 225 78 44 or by e-mail.
Wheelchair spaces on international trains can only be booked at an SBB ticket office or the SBB Contact Centre.
If you are hard of hearing, you can use a chargeable SMS service.
The service is available in German (079 / 702 01 00), French (079 / 702 05 05) and Italian (079 / 702 06 06).
Please note: The service, which is subject to a charge, can only be accessed from the Swiss network.
Visually impaired people can obtain and deposit their tickets by calling the toll-free number: 0800 / 181 181.
Please note that the 0800 number is only available from the national network. There are also charges for these special numbers.
Attention: As Switzerland is not an EU member state, the EU Roaming Regulation does not apply. Some operators include Switzerland in their EU tariffs, but not all. And then it can get expensive.
SBB provides people with reduced mobility with an overview map of base stations, service times, registration deadlines for assistance, meeting points and descriptions of accessibility.
Accessible rail travel in the Czech Republic
Czech Railways provides special assistance for people with reduced mobility.
If you need assistance when boarding, alighting or changing trains, you must book at least 24 hours before departure.
If you are travelling abroad from the Czech Republic, you should book the mobility service at least 48 hours in advance.
National Rail Mobility Service
If you need help boarding, alighting or changing trains within the UK, you can call National Rail's free service hotline on 0800 / 02 23 720.
Please note: The 0800 number is only available from the national network and is subject to a charge.
For calls from abroad please use 0044 / 34 57 48 49 50.
Click here for more information about National Rail's Mobility Service.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.