Disability news

Train service introduces virtual tour for disabled passengers

the virtual tour of loughborough train station

Disabled passengers intending to travel on the East Midlands Railway [EMR] can take advantage of virtual tours of train stations ahead of their journey.

State-of-the-art technology has introduced a system which maps stations using 360-degree photography showing customer service desks, drop off points, toilets and car parks to assist travellers plan routes in advance.

The service has been put in place to  “particularly benefit disabled and anxious travellers.”

Stations already part of the virtual tour include Loughborough, Market Harborough, Corby, Wellingborough, Long Eaton, Chesterfield, and East Midlands Parkway with Alferton to follow.

Those wishing to operate the virtual tour can navigate around stations using Autopilot or manual controls.

The “Autopilot” function allows customers to choose their station and be automatically guided around the area.

George Hill-Jones was a member of EMR’s Accessibility Panel, formed of a group of disabled people who use train services on a frequent basis.

He told Leicester Mercury: “Virtual maps of EMR stations are going to make such a difference to passengers - especially disabled passengers. Having the ability to understand the layout of the station ahead of time will enable them to make better decisions about their time there with less anxiety and more confidence.”

This is not the first time virtual tours have been introduced on a railway service, similar systems already run in Virtual tours are also available for Derby, Sheffield, Nottingham, Lincoln, and Kettering. 

Emma Davis, head of customer experience at East Midlands Railway, said: "We know many customers can often feel anxious about taking a trip, especially if they have extra accessibility needs or haven't travelled in a while.

"We hope these virtual tours provide a useful tool for customers when they are planning their journey." 

[ East Midlands Railway virtual tours can be found on EMR’s website ]

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