COVID-19 Guidance for safer travel
The Government has now published advice for safer travel during COVID-19 as restrictions are eased. This is available on the NI Direct website.
Face Coverings when using public transport
From the 10th July 2020 passengers using public transport services will be required to wear a face covering.
There are exemptions to these rules for disabled people who find wearing a face covering very difficult or impossible.
You can find out more about the new regulations and exemptions from the NI Direct website.
Changes to services
Translink has made a number of changes to the way services are provided in response to COVID-19 including:
- Reduced frequency timetables
- Physical / social distancing measures on vehicles and stations
- Installation of screens to protect passengers and drivers
- A “No Change” policy operating on all services
If you usually need assistance to use public transport you should continue to receive this during COVID-19 although the way it is provided may change.
If you have any concerns you should contact Translink before you travel.
Translink has developed a guide to using their services during COVID-19. To find out more visit the Translink website.
Trains in Northern Ireland
Routes and timetables
If you have any queries, feedback or a complaint about Translink train services you can contact them in a number of ways.
Visit the Translink website.
The Consumer Council
The Consumer Council can also help you if you have had any issues or problems when using trains including when you are not happy with a response you have received about a complaint.
Visit the Consumer Council website.
Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
Under the DDA disabled people have rights when using train services. Rights under the DDA mean:
- Transport providers should not treat you less favourably than other passengers because of your disability.
- Transport providers must also make changes called reasonable adjustments to help you use their services more easily.
- Transport providers must make their stations accessible to you.
- Transport providers must buy trains that meet accessible standards.
- Transport providers must make information about their services accessible to you.
The Equality Commission
Using your rights under the DDA can be a challenge. The Equality Commission is the body responsible for promoting and enforcing the DDA in Northern Ireland and can give you advice about your rights when travelling by train.
Visit the Equality Commission website.
Large railway stations
Improvements have been made at all the main railway stations to provide accessible facilities including:
- Step-free access.
- Accessible toilets.
- Accessible ticket desks.
- Audio and visual passenger announcements.
Some stations close at 5pm and all day at weekends so these facilities will not always be available.
Changing Places Facilities
Portrush and Lanyon Place train stations have Changing Places facilities.
Smaller halts on the rail network are not staffed and accessibility differs from location to location. Steps and footbridges are not uncommon at these small stations.
It is advised to check with Translink if the station you want to travel from is accessible. If it is not Translink are required to provide you with an alternative means of making this journey at no extra cost to you.
Translink Station & Facilities Guide
Translink has produced a guide to their stations and facilities. This guide is currently under review.
Each train has a range of features to help you use them including:
- An boarding ramp stored on-board (main stations also have ramps on platforms).
- Dedicated space for two wheelchair users.
- Other priority seats for disabled people.
- An accessible toilet.
- Audio-visual announcements.
Translink Wheelchair & Scooter Policy
Due to the design of trains there are limitations on the size of wheelchairs and mobility scooters that can be accommodated on trains.
Learn more about Translink’s Scooter and Wheelchair Policy.
Accessibility in the Republic of Ireland
If you are travelling in the Republic of Ireland you can find out more about train and station accessibility on the Iarnród Éireann website.
Assistance at stations
Mainline stations are generally staffed only during opening hours. Most small stations and halts are unstaffed. Staff should assist you to use services and facilities including:
- Assisting to get on and off the trains and around the station.
- Assisting you to obtain a ticket.
Assistance on trains
Every train in Northern Ireland has a conductor on-board who can assist in making your journey easier. Types of assistance include:
- Deploying the ramp to help you get on-board.
- Clear any obstructions out of your way.
- If you need to use a priority seat including the space for wheelchair users they should ask anyone sitting there to move.
- Issuing you with a ticket for your journey.
Translink Access Guide
For more information about the assistance you should receive travelling by train use the Translink Access Guide. The Guide is currently being reviewed.
Many older people and disabled people are eligible for discounted travel on all Translink train services.
For more information about the discounts available visit the NI Direct website.