Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A longer reply...

1) German ICE-3 trains:

These eight-car trains have two wheelchair-fastening places in the non-bistro middle car -- car No. 24, seats no. 65 and 67, between a 2nd-class compartment and a child facility, with a toilet for the disabled ("Behindertengerechtes WC") beyond the latter. The bar is just next in the neighbouring car. (Check groundplan of the train, car No. 24 is fifth from top.)

German railways DB has a so-called Mobilitätsservize, a special branch that, in case of no fixed ramp, will arrange for a mobile lift in any station for long-distance trains after a call a day before the travel, like this:

You can download a full brochure for the disabled [pdf!] in English.

2) French TGV POS trains:

In all TGVs, there is a four-seater compartment for passengers with wheelchairs at the first-class end of the train (car R1), though tickets for it are second-class. There is a button to call the conductor, who can bring special compact wheelchairs for moving on-board.

By booking a seat in the wheelchair zone 24 hours ahead, the boarding help service is activated in the appropiate stations. Read more here.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 29th, 2007 at 05:05:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have used the TGV many times while in a chair, and the prices are good for me, the car is fine--it is doable, - but not as easy as it might seem. C'est la vie. Departure from Paris is OK, but arrival more often than not finds the lift equipment locked up, irrespective of notification, and in any case, this whole trip only works at one of the larger stations that has the rather bulky equipment. A poor system, in practice.

I have another solution. I get out of my chair just before the door, and buttwalk down the car's steps to the last step before the quai, drag my chair down and over my head, unfold it on the quai, and make the transfer. Only risk is that the front wheels will fall into the gap between the car and the quai. Big gap is scary. I need to press gang another passenger or two to hold up on the front of the chair and/or balance the back-- there are lots of people who see the need right away, and someone will usually step up and do it without a word, in France.

No ramp involved, but good upper body strength is needed. Grimy pants, but beats the alternative. Would be tough for a Para, impossible for a Quad, however. That ramp for the TGV could easily be a collapsing unit, stowed on board. There is such a ramp, but it appears only rarely- I dunno the problem. I politic for this ramp each time I travel, but with no apparent effect. Duh. I's only the user, boss.
Thank you, Dodo. A real help.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Tue May 29th, 2007 at 10:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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