Passenger Rail, Rolling stock & Rail Vehicle Design, Workforce, Certification & Training

Operators, manufacturers increase focus on accessibility


Businesses across the rail sector are increasing their focus on accessibility through communication and internal change.

In Melbourne, the metropolitan train operator Metro Trains Melbourne has seen a year of increased accessibility, having been accredited with the Communication Access Symbol in late 2019.

The accreditation notes Metro Trains’ commitment to making services accessible by training passenger-facing staff with skills and strategies to assist people with communication difficulties.

Roughly 2,500 Metro staff undertook 300 training sessions, which taught them how to give advice and assistance to those with additional needs.

Acccessibility and inclusion manager at Metro Trains Laura Edwards said that the training enabled more people to use train services easily.

“By teaching thousands of Metro staff how they can most effectively provide travel advice to people with communication difficulties, we’re taking away a barrier that may have previously prevented them from using our service. I’m very proud of the hard work it took to get here.

Manufacturer Alstom announced that it has joined The Valueable 500, a network of CEOs committed to diversity. The initiative ensures that disability inclusion is featured prominently in Alstom’s leadership agenda.

The commitments are to Alstom’s own staff as well as to those who use rollingstock and systems manufactured by Alstom.

Anne-Sophie Chauveau-Galas, senior vice president human resources at Alstom said that inclusion was important for all.

“Including people with disabilities in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, it also helps Alstom create better solutions for customers and passengers around the world. Developing more inclusive products and services, as well as ensuring that our workforce reflects the diversity of passengers, leads to better outcomes for everyone,” Chauveau-Galas said.

In a statement, Alstom’s said its commitment to universal accessibility can be reached through integrated design of solutions and services and ensuring the participation of people with particular needs in research and development. Alstom also said it is committed to increasing the number of employees with disabilities, while challenging misconceptions about disability and employment, providing skills and tools to recruit and retain people with disabilities, demonstrating commitment at all level of the business, and fostering a more inclusive work environment.