Alstom and Fundación ONCE Enhance Train Accessibility in Barcelona

By Ivan PetrenkoJul 10, 2024 18:32 PMNews
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Small wheelchair next to wooden chairs in classroom
Empty wheelchair indoors. Source: unsplash

Alstom, a leading rolling stock manufacturer, is actively working with Fundación ONCE to improve the accessibility of public transport, making travel around the city more convenient for everyone.

Since 2019, Alstom has been collaborating with Fundación ONCE, an organization that has been improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in Spain since 1988. This partnership has been crucial in designing accessible trains that meet the needs of all passengers.

One of the most significant outcomes of this collaboration is the new metro trains for Barcelona's TMB. These trains have been thoroughly assessed by Fundación ONCE to ensure maximum accessibility. Special sliding ramps have been installed to bridge the gap between the train and the platform, making boarding and alighting easier for wheelchair users.

Santiago Ruiz González, a project manager and accessibility expert at Fundación ONCE, emphasized the importance of removing vertical handrails at train entrances. These handrails can obstruct wheelchair users, making it difficult for them to position themselves inside the train. Following these recommendations, Alstom proposed a vestibule design without vertical handrails, which was supported by TMB and implemented in the new trains.

The new 7000 and 8000 Series Metropolis metro trains in Barcelona are also equipped with wider automatic doors, acoustic warning signals, intercoms at accessible heights, dedicated "next stop" pushbuttons, emergency handles, and color-contrast signage. Additionally, digital technologies are used to detect wheelchair users on board and monitor the occupation of priority seats.

In 2023, the collaboration between Alstom and Fundación ONCE expanded, and the foundation became a key strategic advisor to Alstom. Fundación ONCE now reviews Alstom's products during the design phase, providing valuable advice on improving accessibility for all passengers.

These changes make traveling around Barcelona more convenient and enjoyable for tourists who use wheelchairs. So, when planning your trip to this vibrant city, you can be assured that public transport here is as accessible as possible for everyone.

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