A comprehensive range of services is available to passengers with restricted mobility. For example, staff are on hand at stations to help passengers on and off trains and to make their connections, while the mobility service enables wheelchair users to find BarrierFree trains that they can travel on without difficulty.
The biggest challenge is to ensure that customers’ various needs are met. Changes in demography have resulted in an increased number of elderly and mobility impaired people in the general population. Consequently, there is an increased need for BarrierFree travel. Deutsche Bahn has recognised this and offers extensive services for people with handicaps throughout their journey.
Since 1999 the Mobility Service Centre (MSZ) has been arranging assistance for people boarding, disembarking or changing trains at more than 300 staffed stations. Currently, 3,825 stations are accessible and BarrierFree by way of ramps, lifts, increased platform height and public access. MSZ has been set up to support mobility restricted passengers throughout the planning of their rail journey. In 2012 alone, around 550,000 cases of assistance were arranged.
Nearly all long-distance stations throughout Germany have hoists or ramps for use as mobile boarding aids. Many local trains have integrated boarding aids such as hoists, automatic ramps or manual bridging ramps to enable passengers with a disability to use smaller and medium-sized stations. In addition to these aids, DB staff, members of the Travellers’ Aid Society and other social services are available to provide assistance at approx. 300 stations. All assistance provided by DB staff and the Railway Mission is free of charge. If assistance is provided by a third party, the organisation concerned will settle accounts directly with you. However, as assistance cannot be provided at all stations and at all times, we advise you to contact the Mobility Service Centre before your journey to find out whether assistance will be available for you when boarding, changing or alighting from the train at the station and time you require.
A seat reservation is particularly important for passengers with mobility impairment, as it can sometimes be difficult to find a seat on the train, for instance at weekends and during holiday periods, when many people travel by rail. Moreover, there are only a limited number of special seats available for passengers with a disability, whether or not they use a wheelchair. We generally advise you to reserve a seat if you have arranged for someone to collect you at the transfer or destination station, as that person will be able to locate you more easily with the help of the coach and seat number. If you have to be accompanied at all times and have a disabled person’s ID card issued in Germany, which states the category “B” or “Bl”, we can reserve either one or two seats for you free of charge.
Timetable information is available 24/7 from the freephone German landline telephone number +49 (0) 800 1 50 70 90, which uses our practical voice dialogue system. You can also call this service from a mobile phone by calling +49 (0) 1805 2 21 100; for information on call charges, please contact your provider.
Deutsche Bahn UK & Ireland
Suite 6/8, The Sanctuary
23 Oakhill Grove
Surbiton, KT6 6DU
Mobility Service Centre (MSZ):
Phone: +49 1806 512 512 (calls are charged)
Fax: +49 1805 159 357
MSZ opening hours:
Daily 6 am - 10 pm