a short-term appointment with the regional Express in the nearest big city? A spontaneous trip with the Intercity, in the mountains? Or on the Quick with the ICE, the family visit? For around 1.6 million people in Germany, is not Readily possible – and sometimes not at all.

after all, who relies on a wheelchair and the train wants to go, faces many hurdles. The way to the train station can be difficult if, for example, blocked by parked cars sidewalks that make it difficult to move Forward. In the Station itself, it’s fingers crossed that the Elevator is to the platform in operation. And the way the car device, sometimes to a complete game of luck.

Hardly a barrier-free trains in Germany

The reason for this is that A large part of the long – Distance and regional trains in Germany is no barrier-free access. Depending on the platform height and the vehicle model, it is only by the Overcoming of a few centimeters up or down, or even via the stairs in the wagon. ICE – and inter-city trains, for example, no level, with a few exception-free entry.

The railway is aware of the drawback, and a – albeit complicated – solution for passengers in wheelchairs of Europe has theoretically, at least: the mobility service centre. You should arrange the dough in advance help A To get in and out, so, for example, a lifting device and operating staff on Railways. By phone (a minimum of 20 cents per call), by Fax (at least 14 cents per Minute), by Mail, by Live Chat or via the Online form can contact with a customer in a wheelchair to the state of the group, so that railway employees are there when the journey begins.

among other things, personal data, information on the degree of disability will be Requested during the booking process, Details about the planned train trip. Overall, the passengers in the Online need to fill out form up to 46 fields, or hook to get from A to B, and “no later than 20 PM on the day before the trip,” the recommendation of the railway. The assistance required during the ticket purchase on the train home just to specify, is not possible.

“Not optimal,” says Alexander Ahrens is the offer of the Deutsche Bahn for disabled people diplomatically, then later, more clearly. Ahrens is in the representation of the interests of the Self-life in Germany (ISL) for barrier-free tourism and are sitting together with representatives of other associations of the Disabled and of the Deutsche Bahn in working groups for barrier-free travel at a table. His club calls for the purchase of the Tickets and the order of support at the platform are from a single source, short-term and unbureaucratic as possible.


MONO – My story

Olympic champion in the wheelchair: Kristina Vogel speaks about the accident that has paralyzed

all The more annoying and incomprehensible it appears to the representatives of disabled people, if the German rail travelers in wheelchairs at the station. Surprisingly, the track Cycling Olympic champion Kristina Vogel complained publicly about the “largest integrated mobility service provider in Germany” (self-promotion Deutsche Bahn). Since a training accident in the last year, the 28-Year-old in a wheelchair. You’ve logged in a trip to the Frankfurt airport is the mobility service of the railway. “You told me that I had to travel to the main train station, because you have no people at airport-railway station”, said the Ex-railway radsprinterin the “image”-newspaper. However, on Frankfurt’s main train station, it seemed to lack of staff, no railway staff have stood by to help her off the train. Bird’s conclusion: “I think it’s naughty. This must not be! Not even a ticket collector came in.”

A case? No. Raul Krauthausen uses a wheelchair. The communication is understood as an activist for inclusion and accessibility and is, among other things, through various TV-performances to a wider Public. He described last week on Twitter, his experience with the mobility service centre of Deutsche Bahn: He had to change because of overhead line damage to his travel plans and “at the Mobility centre a call and a train for the morning booked,” wrote Krauthausen on Thursday before his scheduled train journey to the capital. The result of the phone call was sobering: “Now it is not to say that there are at Berlin Hauptbahnhof enough staff to get me from the train. This is the famous shortage of skilled workers, from the always babble? I need only ne ramp/lift …”

A Twitter user with jumps Krauthausen: “Just to clarify: We are talking here from the main train station of the German capital, Berlin, a Top 5 of the most frequented train stations in Germany? And there is a working day, and no staff, to enable a person in a wheelchair, an exit from the train?”

A similarly frustrating experience made in may, also a blogger, which also sits in a wheelchair. She described in an article on “wheelymum.com” that a trip to Berlin could not take place as planned. After you tried the rail to a support at the exit, did you get a rejection: “In the period from 16. May 2019 up to and including 20. May 2019 is planned, the staff at the Berlin Central station already”, – quotes a blogger from an E-Mail from the company.

These are just three cases from the past four weeks. They were public because the victims are prominent, or have the opportunity to reach a wide audience. Alexander Ahrens from the ISL know, however, that there are significantly more Affected. He even sits in a wheelchair, and took place at the Darmstadt main train station on a Sunday evening to 21 clock no railway staff to help him from the wagon. In addition, his club is co-owner of the platform “barrierefreibahn.de”. No matter whether or no staff for the operation of the Hublifte at the station is available or if elevators are not functioning and, therefore, a train journey is impossible: Through the Portal Concerned can know where they can Lodge complaints. The Association is also self to the competent arbitration bodies in an attempt to put pressure on the railway to build.

Because the Problem the group was made in-house, says Ahrens, and its going to be bigger. “If individual assistance is needed, not follow the track in terms of personnel.” Older employees were often assigned the task, went to this retirement, remained for the then vacant, his or her impression. “In the area are definitely not made any investments, but a reduction in staff, and against the Background of an ageing society,” says Ahrens. “It can’t be.” An accusation that the Deutsche Bahn has vehemently back. The number of assistance had increased from 564.000 in 2015 to over 850,000 in the last year, “We have our staff accordingly reinforced and continue to work and to the growing demand for mobility service even better offspring,” said a spokesperson to the star’s request, without mentioning specific Figures.

Deutsche Bahn stressed the importance of “bottlenecks” in a

Deutsche Bahn sought via Social Media in the known cases, damage control, and regretted that their mobility service could ensure Central no mobility. Compared to the star, the railway spokeswoman acknowledged that it “can come in particularly heavy traffic congestion on the personal mobility service”. “In these cases, the mobility service is looking for-Central, together with the passengers to alternative travel options.”


Guido Maria Kretschmar has designed the new railway uniforms – as you can see from

a few years Ago, it was still possible to ask non-bureaucratic police officials, guards or employees of the railway mission, to operate the lifting device on the platform. This is over, criticized representatives of people with disabilities Ahrens. “In the meantime, this may only make the employees of DB Station & Service’, the station is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn.” The railway spokeswoman confirmed: “Hublifte may only be undertaken by trained and regularly trained personnel.”

people in wheelchairs to be more and more dependent on the service times of the company. “As long as a train, must be able to also make use of all of the people all the time”, calls for Ahrens. “Since the web is a duty.” Everything else was “no equality of access, discriminatory and, ultimately, against human dignity”.

what is Clear is that If the travel by rail can be a game for 1.6 million potential passengers to the happiness you feel as the passengers of the third class, there is a need for action. And after all: Even if rail and disabled initiatives to assess the extent of the problem, apparently, different, emphasize both sides, that they are in the regular exchange of information about possible improvements of accessibility.

A small light is on the Horizon: With the commissioning of the new ECx trains per day travelling from 2023 it will be in the long-distance transport significantly more vehicles with barrier-free access.

550-million-Euro Deal presented: On the way to the “Wow-effect”? The offer of the new long-distance trains of the railway and it is here to? go Fullscreen

The Deutsche Bahn is modernizing its fleet: Each of the new ECx-trains consists of 17 wagons, …

©Computer Animation: Deutsche Bahn AG / Tricon AG PR

What are your experiences with the mobility service centre of Deutsche Bahn What went well, what expansion? You can write to us at: leseraufruf@stern.de.

sources: Deutsche Bahn I, Deutsche Bahn II, Raul Krauthausen on Twitter, “wheelymum.com”, “barrierefreiebahn.de”, “image” (paid content)


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