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Better adaptions for all users in new long distance trains

New long-distance trains will be adapted for all users, but will not have step-free boarding.

- Overall, we believe that we have found good solutions for all user groups for the new long-distance trains, says Erik Lund, Director General of the Norwegian Railway Directorate. The long-distance trains that have been ordered will have a number of improvements to ensure that passengers in wheelchairs have access to all the train's facilities.


On behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Norwegian Railway Directorate, in collaboration with Norske Tog and Bane NOR, has investigated the possibilities for better accessibility for travelers with disabilities in the new long-distance trains.

- There are many considerations that need to be taken into account and assessed together when ordering new trains, says Erik Lund of the Norwegian Railway Directorate.

The report concludes that the adjustments now being made to the 17 train sets that have been ordered should also be used as a basis for any subsequent exercise of options for more trains.

Illustration of a bistro coach on the new long-distance trains.

The improvements mainly involve giving wheelchair users access to a larger part of the train. It will be possible to move with a wheelchair between the train's bistro section, family section and sleeping compartments. It will also be easier for wheelchair users to travel with others, and there will be more wheelchair spaces overall. These adaptations mean that the train will have a few fewer seats.

However, there are two requirements from disability organizations in particular that are not recommended for implementation: These are step-free access into the train and full passage along the entire length of the train's interior for people who use wheelchairs. There are several reasons why these requirements are not recommended.

- Step-free access would require steps or ramps inside the train. This would take up a lot of space on board and significantly reduce capacity for all users. There are also user groups that do not want steps or ramps. In addition, we have very different platform heights on long-distance routes, so we won't have a uniform standard for boarding for many years, says Lund.

- We therefore believe that our overall recommendation is the best for all users and are confident that the new long-distance trains will be functional and comfortable for all passengers, adds Lund.

The report can be found here.