Working together to make trains more accessible

11 November 2020

Long-time transport advocate Anthony Mulholland and CID Project Worker Justen Thomas have been testing new trains for the NSW Government. We asked them about their experience.

Tell us what you did

We have been part of consultations about the New Intercity Fleet trains for a few years.

The new trains will go to the Central Coast and Newcastle, the South Coast and to Lithgow.

Transport for NSW wanted to know how to make the new trains accessible to people with disability. They asked people with disability to test the trains.

It has been a great opportunity to work together with Transport for NSW and to see the feedback we gave them has been listened to.

It is good when we can work together to make things better for people with disability.

What changes resulted from the consultations?

Transport took on board the feedback we gave them, even if it was just about a little thing.

When you design a train, there is a lot to look at. Things like signage, indicators, seats, toilets and lots of specialised things to look at.

We helped them find solutions to make the trains more accessible and easier for people and they were very open and listened. This was such a positive experience.

They also consulted with us very early about how the guard on the train will work. We are glad they listened to us and the guard will be much better on these trains and help people on the train.

It means people with disability won’t be so scared and worried about these new trains.

What has it been like being part of the consultations?

It has been interesting. It is nice to be part of something where we have accomplished something and been part of the process from the beginning.

Disability needs are different. Often the needs of people with intellectual disability get forgotten. But we worked together with disability advocates from different organisations and found common ground.

We like to listen and learn about the needs of other disabilities; it helps us think about things from another person’s point of view.

We all want to make sure the world is fully accessible for everyone. So that is what we did, we all worked together on our feedback to Transport for NSW.

Disability advocates testing a model of the new trains. Photo: Transport for NSW

What are some of the things you liked about the new train?

We really liked how spacious it was inside and how easy it was to get around.

The information screens are also really good, easier to understand and read.

We think the toilets were also very good and accessible, which is important for long journeys.

We liked that they have made spaces for everyone and thought about everyone’s needs.

What would you like to say to Transport for NSW?

Thank you Transport for listening to us. Thank you for your effort and taking the time.

Together we make things better for people with disability and we look forward to working with Transport again on other projects.

Find out more


One of the new Intercity Fleet trains. Photo: Transport for NSW


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