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Booking assisted travel

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to travel with us and offer a range of assistance if you have access needs.

  • Accessible travel advice during Covid 19
      • Is assistance still available?
        Yes. We are asking customers where they can to book ahead. Where customer’s can’t book, we’ll still provide assistance as quick as we can.

      • Why are rail companies asking me to book in advance?
        We have limited numbers of staff available in some areas due to challenges such as staff isolating, some staff shielding or even just social distancing. We don’t want this to impact on customer journeys wherever possible. If customers can book, we’ll be able to reserve seats or spaces and plan best. If a customer cannot book, we’ll do our best to assist as quick as possible.

        We know that sometimes customers can’t book ahead, especially when the customer might be working or building up their mental health to feeling confident to make a journey. You can find all of the contact details for train operators on this page.
      • Do disabled people need to wear a face covering?
        People with a disability or illness that means that they cannot wear a face covering can still travel by train. However, we do not have a definitive list of which illnesses or disabilities that make a person exempt. We are asking our staff to be considerate when using their discretion. The following kinds of illness or disability may mean someone does not need to wear a face covering:
        • Breathing difficulties
        • Conditions affecting dexterity
        • Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders
        • Autism
        • Dementia
        • Visual impairments or with a restricted field of vision
        • Anyone reliant on lip reading – including companions or carers for whom a face covering would impeded their ability to communicate
        • Also, people are permitted to remove their face covering to take medication.
          Staff are also being briefed about this.
      • I can’t pay by card. Can I still buy a ticket with cash?
        Yes. Ticket offices are still open for customers who need to purchase tickets using cash. Please be aware that staff might ask if you can pay by card. Please don’t be afraid to say “I need to pay cash”.
      • What if the ticket I need isn’t available on a ticket machine?
        Ticket offices are still open for customers who need to purchase tickets or use a discount that isn’t available on a ticket machine. Please pay by card if you can. We know this might not always be possible.
      • What if I can’t use a ticket machine?
        Ticket offices are still open for customers who need to purchase tickets or use a discount that isn’t available on a ticket machine. Please pay by card if you can. We know this might not always be possible.
      • I need a priority seat or wheelchair space. I can’t reserve these on my train. Can I still travel and if so, how should I do this?
        You can still travel on most services without a reservation. If you need a wheelchair space onboard, staff will make sure that you can use the wheelchair space for your wheelchair or mobility device as a priority. If there are no wheelchair spaces available because other wheelchair users are using them, we will assist you on to the next available service.

        We will help customers find a priority seat where possible. If you can, please give up a priority seat to a customer who needs it.

        If your operator is providing services that require a reservation, you should reserve a space in advance. Please visit your train operator’s website to check.
      • I am blind or living with vision loss. Can staff still guide me?
        Staff will still provide guidance when needed. Please don’t hesitate to explain to staff what you need to make your journey. Please be aware that some staff might ask if they can use a covering between their arm and your hand. This is to provide as much safety to you as possible.

        If you need direction from the staff in any way, please don’t hesitate to explain what you need from them.
      • I am D/deaf or living hearing loss and I need to lip read. Do I need to use a face covering? Can staff remove their face coverings?
        If you need to remove a covering or ask a member of staff to remove theirs to communicate, please remember to give staff two metres space to ensure that social distancing can be adhered. If staff are behind screens and light is reflecting on the screen, please ask if they could write down any information for you or move to enable you to lip read.

        If you are reliant on lip reading – for example with companions or carers – for your journey, you will not be expected to wear a covering when communicating.

        Please wear a face covering when not communicating for your safety if you can.
      • I have a mental health condition that means I cannot wear a face covering. Will staff be made aware that I am exempt?
        Yes. We will brief staff to ensure that they are considerate and discrete when engaging customers about wearing a face covering.
      • Do I need to provide proof I can’t wear a face mask?
        No. Staff will be briefed to understand that any customer who is living with a disability will not be required to provide any proof.

We'll always do our best to help you whether you're travelling at short notice or have booked assistance in advance.

Our normal Passenger Assist service continues is available for those requiring extra help to travel. We encourage passengers to book assistance before you travel – it will really help us plan and make sure you’re not hanging around. 


TfW 6 Hour Passenger Assist Booking Period Customer Commitment.

Passenger Assist is a national system supported by all train operating companies, which helps operators to arrange passenger assistance for disabled customers or customers with restricted mobility.

We are committed to this system and we have a specialist team who will provide journey advice, help you book assistance across the whole UK Rail Network, buy your tickets in advance and reserve seats/space on our trains and at our stations.

Our Passenger Assist phone team is available between 8 am to 10 pm every day (except Christmas Day) or you can use our online booking process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except Christmas Day). (Please see section C of our TfW Making Rail Accessible: Guide to Policies and Procedures.)

For the most effective service, we recommend booking and reserving assistance at least 6 hours before you travel (If you wish to make a booking between the hours of 10pm and 8am please use our online booking service).

If you are booking assistance for first thing the next day, we advise you submit this booking to our team before 10pm the day before travel to ensure it has been confirmed.

Our passenger assistance team operating hours might be different to other train operators.  If your journey involves another train operator, we will need to confirm their part of your journey. If this is outside of their operating hours, we might not be able to confirm all your assistance request.  If this is the case, we will contact you to discuss your journey options, including how you might want to undertake your journey.

You can book further in advance if you prefer. 

When you book your tickets: choose the help you need from our range of options (many available 24 hours a day). 


There are several ways to book:

  • Online when you book your tickets: choose the help you need from our range of options
  • Online using our book assistance form
  • By phone: call our Passenger Assist team on 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm everyday, except Christmas Day). 
  • By Next Generation Text: call our Passenger Assist team via text relay service on 18001 03330 050 501 (8am to 10pm every day, except Christmas Day)

Our Assisted Travel team can also sell you tickets and reserve seats or wheelchair spaces (on services where reservations are possible).

If you have not booked assisted travel, we will always do our best to help you, but it may take a little more time to arrange the support you need.

For National Rail

  • Tel: 03457 48 49 50 or 0800 0223720 (Open 24 hours every day except Christmas Day) 
  • Online - Website: 
  • Text Direct: 0345 60 50 600: (for people who are hard of hearing or deaf) 

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and may be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way.


Passenger Assistance service with social distancing - What to expect 

Our team (if appropriate) will try to keep at arms-length and will spend the shortest time with you. 

Customers using a wheelchair or mobility scooter

  • Please face forwards.
  • Don’t be alarmed if our team wipe the handles, it’s all part of the service (we’re regularly cleaning our own wheelchairs too).
  • We’ll also position you 2m away whilst we set up a ramp to the train. 

Customer who need to use the lift

  • If we need to use the lift, our team will not join you in the lift. 
  • We will take alternate means to meet you on the relative floor, as we’re trying to keep this to one person at a time – (it may not always be possible). 

Customers with a visual impairment 

  • Rest assured we will still provide assistance and position ourselves carefully.
  • Our team might be wearing additional equipment such as arm shields but don’t be alarmed by this.  

Our Passenger Assistance call centre will ask extra questions, so allow a little more time to make your booking.


Train Accessibility

Find out about on-board facilities to help you plan your journey.

Please be aware that types of train that do not feature fully accessible facilities, including toilets, are operating on some routes. We apologise for this inconvenience and are doing all we can to improve this situation. Details of the routes and times of services impacted by this issue will be published on this website soon.

While reservations can be made for locomotive hauled trains between Holyhead, Manchester and Cardiff (in both directions), please be aware these services do not have accessible toilets or power-operated doors and the wheelchair space is only located in standard class (not the restaurant car). Some other train types used mainly in the Cardiff and Valleys area also currently do not provide accessible toilet facilities. Our Assisted Travel team (contact details above) can suggest alternative services for you if necessary. As part of our commitment to accessibility, these trains will be refurbished by the end of 2020 and will meet all legal accessibility requirements.