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Last updated: 11:19
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Assisted travel

We’re committed to accessible travel for everyone. Our assisted travel scheme Passenger Assist helps passengers with disabilities as well as older people who need a little extra help using our services.

The majority of passengers travel on our network without booking assistance (“turn up and go”)

If you do wish to book assistance our call centre colleagues are happy to help you with planning your journey.

You can contact us at any time of the day for assisted travel guidance or to request an assisted travel booking. To make sure we have staff available to help you, we recommend you book at least two hours in advance of travelling.

If your journey involves another train company, we may need to confirm part of your journey with them. If this is the case, we will discuss options with you.

If you do choose to travel “turn up and go” without booking assistance in advance, please make yourself known to a member of staff or use a Help Point when you arrive at the station.

Making travel accessible

We know as an industry we can do better to give everyone the confidence to travel. We’re working hard to empower disabled people and others who require assistance by making our services easier to use, and have set out our commitments in our Accessible Travel Policy.

For example, the notice to give should you choose to pre-book assistance is reduced to two hours before travel, although you’re always welcome to turn up at a station unannounced. All our staff are having improved accessibility training, we’ve enhanced our websites and signs at stations, and we are rolling out mobile assistance teams serving our smaller unstaffed stations. Find out more by clicking the links below.

Accessible Travel Policy

Making Rail Accessible

Station Accessibility

Fleet Accessibility

Our Accessible Travel Policy documents are available here in alternative formats including audio and large print versions.

Printed copies of our Making Rail Accessible document will shortly be available from all staffed stations across our network.

How do I book assistance?

There are several ways to book Passenger Assist.

Book online:

You can book assistance now quickly and easily online.

Need to travel sooner? We’ll do everything we can to help.

Give us a call:

Telephone 0800 058 2844
Textphone 0800 138 1018

Our assisted travel helpline is open 24 hours a day, except on Christmas Day.

If you're booking a journey for the first time in a while and would like to talk it through, please call our Assisted travel team.

Our team can help with bookings involving travel on other train operators. Should you wish to contact other operators directly, contact details are available on National Rail’s website.

You can now request assistance via Passenger Assistance by Transreport – a new smartphone app.

Find out more about the new assistance app and how to download it here.

How do I buy a ticket?

We’re happy to help you plan your journey. If you want to book your train ticket in advance, call our assisted travel team at least 7 days in before you’d like to travel.

If you have a Disabled Persons Railcard, you can get 1/3 off most rail fares throughout the UK. If you're travelling with a companion, they’ll enjoy the same discount.

Learn more about the Disabled Persons Railcard.

Find information here on discounts for blind and visually impaired passengers travelling with a companion, and on passengers who stay in their own wheelchair during a journey. >

If you are a disabled passenger, and are unable to easily purchase a ticket at the station where the journey starts, then the appropriate fare, including discount if applicable, can be paid en route without penalty.

How do I get to the station?

Your journey starts with a smooth arrival to the station. Read our advice on:

What happens when I arrive?

We’re here to help you aboard.

Try to get to the station around 20 minutes before your train is due to leave so we’ve got plenty of time to help you get on the train. When you arrive, tell a member of station staff that you’ve booked assisted travel and they’ll take it from there.

If you weren’t able to book assisted travel in advance, don’t worry; we’ll still try to help but it may take us a little longer to arrange for someone to assist you.

To learn more about our station facilities before you travel, check our station accessibility information.

Accessible facilities at the station

Make sure to check our station pages, for information on accessibility at your station.

You can also search for your station on this page, to see if there are any temporary reductions to the accessible facilities.

Can I get support while travelling?

We have a number of services to help make your journey more comfortable.

Accessibility on our trains
We’re committed to everyone’s comfort and accessibility on board. Find out more about train accessibility across our network.

Priority seats
If you find it difficult to stand, you’ll find priority seats available on all of our services. Apply for a Priority Seat Card for an easy way to make sure you can access a seat when you need one.

Mobility scooters and wheelchairs aboard
All of our train services can carry manual or powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters that meet a few basic size and weight specifications. Check our specifications.

Support Card
If communicating with staff or memory problems are difficult for you or a loved one, apply for our free Travel Support Card. Fill in some basic information about your journey and the kind of help you need, then just show the card to a member of our staff to get assistance.


Tips to help us help you

a man standing on a train

We recommend that all passengers arrive in good time at the station. As a general rule of thumb, try to arrive at staffed stations 20 minutes before your train is due to depart so we can arrange the most suitable assistance based on your needs.

Station staff and passenger hosts have accessibility awareness training and are equipped to help you access our network with confidence.

Staff are widely available on the majority of our stations and some of our trains. Examples of help our staff can provide includes:

  • Meeting you on arrival at the station
  • Assistance purchasing your ticket
  • Assistance boarding or alighting a train and finding a seat - ranging from a helping hand to the use of a ramp
  • Assistance climbing up or down stairs
  • Assistance with luggage

Where Thameslink services call at Southern stations that are not staffed at the time of your journey, assistance is also available from our control centre team. They can be contacted via help points which are normally situated on platforms. At a small number of stations where help points are not available, our control centre can also be contacted via a freephone number (see posters at stations for details).

For assistance with train times and routes, reach out to our Assisted Travel team who can provide more information.

Looking for a different route to travel to your destination, or a quieter train?

Alternative routes

Quieter trains

If things go wrong

Our fully trained staff work hard to assist all of our customers. If, however, you have not received the level of assistance you expect when travelling with us, please contact our Customer Relations team. We commit to investigating any complaints, take appropriate action and provide you with appropriate redress.

If your journey involves multiple train or station operators, we will liaise with them throughout our investigation to provide you with a clear response. Our complaints handling procedure sets out further details around what you can expect from us if things go wrong, including how to contact the Rail Ombudsman if you are not satisfied.

Follow us

You can follow us on Twitter for updated service information, and reach out to us for feedback on social media.

Download our app to get live service updates and train times, and to buy tickets.

Find out more about how we want our website to be accessible to all visitors, so we aim to meet best practice and take account of assistive technologies.

Get a Disabled Persons Railcard

See if you can get a 1/3 off for you and a friend