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In-station access
& special amenities

Rail plays a key role in travel—but the surrounding infrastructure is essential, too. Day by day, we’re upgrading our car parks, stations, signage and other amenities to eliminate obstacles so you can reach your train safely and easily.

Visit SNCF’s accessibility site (in French)

Access SNCF’s limited mobility guide (in French)

Audio “arrows”

Very large and/or complex stations also feature audio “arrows”—brief, synchronized announcements that help users chart a path through the station.

Finding your way

We’ve designed our stations with services and special amenities to help you get oriented and find your train.

Information in Braille and relief
Stair rails and other surfaces in our stations contain information in Braille to help visually impaired passengers stay oriented.

Safety decals
Glass walls are decorated with white safety decals, positioned at two different heights and designed to contrast with their environment so they are clearly visible to visually impaired passengers, persons of short stature and children.

Tactile floor paths
Our stations also feature tactile paths made of contrasting parallel grooves roughly 3 cm apart and running in the direction of travel. They can be detected with a white cane and are designed to help visually impaired passengers find their way.

Audio beacons
Audio beacons complement other amenities for the visually impaired—marking key services and paths through our stations.

The beacons work with a universal remote on the 868 Mhz frequency and can be used in two different modes:

  • automatic—each beacon is activated as you enter its sensor field, which has a radius of 5-10 m, depending on the beacon’s settings
  • manual——press the remote to activate the beacon whenever you wish

You may also be alerted to the presence of audio beacons by an indicator in the tactile floor path. In this case, opt for manual mode and activate the beacon when you reach the indicator.

Tactile warning strips
Visually impaired passengers are alerted to obstacles and hazards by tactile flooring with rounded studs in staggered parallel lines. The warning strips are placed at the tops of stairs and 50 cm away from the edge of each platform, and consist of 5 or 6 staggered rows of studs depending on the station.

Passengers can easily find and use in-station escalators thanks to contrasting colour strips on the comb plates at the top and bottom, and at the edge of each step. Escalators are not recommended for wheelchairs or pushchairs due to the risk of falls.

Risers and nosing
To make stairways safer and easier to use, the risers of the first and last steps are visually highlighted. Stair nosing also features visual contrast, plus a non-slip surface.

Getting around

We’re constantly updating our stations to make it easier for you to get around. Here’s a brief overview of special amenities for clients with limited mobility.

Manual wheelchairs are available from the information desks at the entrances and exits of major stations.

Automatic doors
Opening a manual door can be a challenge when your mobility is limited. To make it easier for you to enter and exit, some SNCF stations are equipped with automatic doors.

To help you navigate ramps and stairs, we’ve installed safety hand rails, with a second level of railing for children and persons of short stature.

Hand rails extend horizontally beyond the top and bottom of each staircase to alert you when you reach the top and bottom steps and help you transition back to level ground.

Multi-level stations have lifts for all to use, with clearly identifiable, accessible controls inside and out. New and renovated lifts also have a support rail and a system that informs you of the cabin’s movements—going up, going down, current floor, and alarm system—in compliance with France's AFNOR 81-70 standard.

To help you move through the station, we’ve provided ramps with slopes that are carefully designed for optimum safety. Landings are positioned at the top and bottom of each ramp, and also within ramps that are longer than 10 metres and steeper than 4%.

Lifts and mobile ramps
When the gap between the train and platform is too high for a mobile ramp, lifts enable wheelchair users to board our trains with ease. New power lifts, tested and approved by persons with disabilities, are gradually being installed in our stations. They’re more comfortable for you and easier for our employees to use.

To make our stations easier to navigate, we're overhauling the signage, making improvements that include a more effective font. We’ve also installed courtesy signs near waiting and sales areas:

  • Priority access: persons with disabilities or limited mobility take priority in lines for ticket windows and information desks
  • Priority seating: persons with disabilities or limited mobility take priority for seats in waiting areas
  • Priority space: waiting areas include priority spaces for wheelchair users

Do you have priority status?

You have priority status if you hold:

  • a disability card with a rating of 80% or more
  • a priority card
  • a disability card marked “difficulty standing” or “disabled priority”
  • a family priority card

Don’t hesitate to make other passengers aware of your priority status.

Talk to us

For many years now, we’ve been working to improve our communication with you. Our stations feature a variety of systems to assist all customers, including those with hearing and visual impairments.

Help points
Help points are designed primarily for passengers with disabilities who wish to contact an SNCF employee as soon as they enter the station. Here’s how they work:

  • help points are located at the entrances of complex stations so you can use them immediately
  • their touch screens can be activated with the tip of a finger
  • an SNCF employee will establish visual contact with you and provide the information you need
  • an employee can also come to meet you and escort you to your train

Help points are also designed for wheelchair users and visually impaired customers. If you have a visual impairment, you can locate the help point with the same remote you use for the audio beacons. Simply press the remote to activate the help point and its audio message.

Induction loops
Do you use a hearing aid? Induction loops make it easier to hear in our stations by capturing sounds at the source and transferring them directly to your hearing aid. Here’s how they work:

  • look for induction loops near the ticket windows and passenger waiting areas
  • switch your hearing aid to the “T” setting
  • you hear the other party with maximum clarity
  • background noise is filtered out
  • you can communicate more easily

Virtual sign language interpreter
Jade, our virtual employee, translates some audio announcements into French Sign Language. You’ll see her on flat screens in some of our stations.

More amenities

We’re gradually installing special amenities to make the time you spend in the station as pleasant as possible, whether you’re arriving or departing. These new features will make our stations more accessible for everyone.

Car parks
At many stations, parking spaces near the entrance, reception area and lift are reserved for passengers with disabilities and have all the necessary features for accessibility. These spaces have several key features:

  • special markings on the pavement
  • vertical signs
  • extra width to allow wheelchair users to navigate them safely

Ticket windows
Our new ticket windows include extra room under the counter, giving wheelchair users the legroom they need. They also feature induction loops for hearing-aid users. Priority windows are clearly marked and easy for all passengers to identify.

Toilets for passengers with limited mobility include grab bars and sinks positioned for wheelchair users. Switches and controls are also designed to be easy for all to use, and flashing lights inside the toilets alert hearing-impaired passengers to emergency signals.