Mk2 TSO / DBSO wheelchair access

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kingqueen

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I was delighted the other day to catch a 37/4 hauled Mk2 TSO rake from Ravenglass to Barrow, in my wheelchair.

My wheelchair is within the reference wheelchair size of 70cm by 120cm but wouldn't fit through the interior door from the "porch" area of the Mk2 carriage into the wheelchair space. I don't think it would fit through if it was 67cm either (some rail industry websites state that some older trains won't take any wheelchairs wider than 67cm.) I was thus stuck in the doorway area.

The portable ramps had a rectangle cut out of one of the top corners so they would fit in the Mk2 external doorway. The conductor commented that before they modified the ramps, wheelchair access was even more limited and difficult.

I would like to do some bashing on 37s up and down the route but I don't want to spend several hours trapped solely in the doorway porch bits. So I emailed Northern Railway, to no response. I tweeted them and the conversation was not very helpful.



My question is: is there some form of solution? I don't want to go ahead and book assistance where my concern is just "noted" and then I'm stuck in the porch area. I don't mind being in a goods van bit of the DBSO or something, I'm used to it on heritage railways. But is there some rule that says they can't? or some other solution?

all suggestions welcome!

thanks
 
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Shaw S Hunter

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I was delighted the other day to catch a 37/4 hauled Mk2 TSO rake from Ravenglass to Barrow, in my wheelchair.

My wheelchair is within the reference wheelchair size of 70cm by 120cm but wouldn't fit through the interior door from the "porch" area of the Mk2 carriage into the wheelchair space. I don't think it would fit through if it was 67cm either (some rail industry websites state that some older trains won't take any wheelchairs wider than 67cm.) I was thus stuck in the doorway area.

The portable ramps had a rectangle cut out of one of the top corners so they would fit in the Mk2 external doorway. The conductor commented that before they modified the ramps, wheelchair access was even more limited and difficult.

I would like to do some bashing on 37s up and down the route but I don't want to spend several hours trapped solely in the doorway porch bits. So I emailed Northern Railway, to no response. I tweeted them and the conversation was not very helpful.



My question is: is there some form of solution? I don't want to go ahead and book assistance where my concern is just "noted" and then I'm stuck in the porch area. I don't mind being in a goods van bit of the DBSO or something, I'm used to it on heritage railways. But is there some rule that says they can't? or some other solution?

all suggestions welcome!

thanks

Last time I traveled on a service with a "half brake" vehicle not only was it specifically marshalled with the brake end at the extreme end of the train but guards were quite specifically ensuring that nobody attempted to travel in the van area of the vehicle. In short it would appear that such accommodation is no longer considered suitable for passenger use. Unfortunately MkIIs were designed long before wheelchair accessibility was deemed mandatory and in any case the current use of such stock is supposed to be a temporary measure even though there is no definite date yet for its replacement. Perhaps the way forward would be making more formal contact with Northern (ie not Twitter) to see if they would be prepared to make a special arrangement for you.
 

kingqueen

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Thank you. I did wonder if this is the case, I wondered if the non-public element of the DBSO firms a function similar to the "buffer coach" of rail tour coaches, I'm grateful for the confirmation.

I did attempt communication with Northern Rail via email, which appears to be their preferred means of longhand discourse, as it were, but they didn't respond. I'm not sure if that's better or worse than my subsequent communication by Twitter, by at which they at least responded, if not to any great effect.

Thanks

Doug
 

TheEdge

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It can be done. With the BSO in the AGA short set two tables and 6 seats (I think) were taken out to create a wheelchair space. Still not fully accessible as larger chairs would have a challenge getting round. At the moment though that is away at work at the BFK has no such facility. The GA policy is wheelchairs trying to get on the hauled set are provided a taxi.

As has been said under modern big railway rules we can't have wheelchairs travelling in the luggage area of the brake vehicles.
 

SpacePhoenix

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Was there an accident somewhere that resulted in wheelchairs being banned from the luggage area?
 

yorksrob

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I believe that the Lymington CIG's had part of their guards vans kitted out as a wheelchair area with moquette squab pannels etc to make it habitable. Could such an alteration be made to a Mk 2 van ?
 

30907

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There may be an issue with it being at the business end of the train, as an earlier post has suggested.

However, would it be possible for the OP to board via the van area and move into the passenger portion (assuming the w/c space is in the DBSO, I can't remember)
 

kingqueen

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I'm wondering that too;

The wheelchair space didn't appear to be in the DBSO from what I remember; it was definitely at the end of whatever carriage it was in. But perhaps it isn't the only one?

I don't know...
 

LowLevel

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I would imagine as the brake van doors aren't fitted with central door locking passengers can no longer be carried in this area - all none mk1 slam door stock that were remaining in service from the 90s onwards if not before had wheelchair spaces fitted in a saloon vehicle somewhere in the rake.

I know some chairs won't physically fit through the door on Mk3 stock either. It's a pain :(
 

SpacePhoenix

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I would imagine as the brake van doors aren't fitted with central door locking passengers can no longer be carried in this area - all none mk1 slam door stock that were remaining in service from the 90s onwards if not before had wheelchair spaces fitted in a saloon vehicle somewhere in the rake.

I know some chairs won't physically fit through the door on Mk3 stock either. It's a pain :(

Would it cost very much to install central door locking on the brake van doors?
 

61653 HTAFC

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Would it cost very much to install central door locking on the brake van doors?

I imagine it would've been easy enough to do it when the CDL system was originally installed. However it wasn't, presumably because there's an operational advantage to guards being able to use those inward-opening doors (if I'm picturing the right doors) without breaking interlock as part of dispatch.
 

TheEdge

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Would it cost very much to install central door locking on the brake van doors?

More to the point is there any point?

Ignoring Mk2s used on heritage or charter which obviously are a special case and have their own method of operation there are only a handful (4 or 5?) Mk2 sets in use with normal TOCs and they are all interim cover for new units.

Fairly sure the amount of time and effort needed to fit CDL to the BSO/BFKs in use would far outweigh the usefulness.
 

Bletchleyite

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Would it cost very much to install central door locking on the brake van doors?

It'd be slightly easier I imagine to hack a bit of bulkhead out and remove a seating bay so the wheelchair fits in properly. And most wheelchair users would prefer to travel in passenger accommodation rather than being treated as a piece of luggage.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I imagine it would've been easy enough to do it when the CDL system was originally installed. However it wasn't, presumably because there's an operational advantage to guards being able to use those inward-opening doors (if I'm picturing the right doors) without breaking interlock as part of dispatch.

LHCS CDL does not have an interlock on any door.
 

kingqueen

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It'd be slightly easier I imagine to hack a bit of bulkhead out and remove a seating bay so the wheelchair fits in properly. And most wheelchair users would prefer to travel in passenger accommodation rather than being treated as a piece of luggage.

this is true, particularly on the mainline. if it can be done by volunteers on the DMU at Wensleydale, beautifully in a carriage on the Keighley and Worth Valley, and beautifully including a fully accessible disabled toilet on the North Yorkshire Moors, then it can definitely be done on a Mark 2 carriage on the mainline.

I would still rather be in the goods bit than stuck in the vestibule area at the end of a carriage, though. I shall have to push the issue.

Doug
 
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