Accessible Brisbane and South East Queensland Train Network
All Brisbane and TransLink trains in South East Queensland are wheelchair accessible.
Wheelchair users must board at the wheelchair boarding point on the platform, which is indicated by the blue and white accessibility symbol located on the middle section of the platform. The wheelchair carriages on the train are indicated with the blue wheelchair accessibility symbols on the doors. To access or disembark the train a guard must place a ramp down for access.
You must let the train guard or the platform guard know your destination so they can deploy the portable boarding ramp again at your stop. In the newer trains there is now a wheelchair assistance button to contact a guard for assistance.
There are wheelchair seating sections located in the wheelchair carriages for those with mobility aids and limited mobility. Mobility aids should not exceed 75cm wide by 130cm long and 300kg.
Most stations are wheelchair accessible via lifts and ramps. Some stations have steep ramps and may require some assistance. You can find out which stations are accessible by viewing the Translink station mobility map here.
I also highly recommend to check the translink website for any lift outages. Lifts outages are common around Brisbane stations and can be a huge issue if the only other access is via steps.
Tickets can be purchased via a go card, or a paper ticket can be purchased at the station office or by a ticketing machine. Carer Companion cards are accepted for free travel for carers. Wheelchair users may also qualify for a disability Translink Access Pass if they do not need a carer but have difficulty using a go card, click here to find out more.
I have used the translink train network many times while traveling in Brisbane and have ran into few problems during my travels. Even though they are wheelchair accessible there are still some issues in regards to traveling with a wheelchair.
The main thing that has happened to me on a number of occasions is actually being left behind on the platform due to no one being around to deploy the ramp. Most times a guard is located at the front of a wheelchair carriage on the older trains, but on a few occasions this wasn’t always the case.
Queensland has also purchased new trains and the guard carriage is no longer located at the accessible carriage, I am concerned this could lead to a lot more wheelchair users being left behind. But because the new NGR trains are now in action, I can confirm the boarding process is now a little different for the guards due to there being no guard carriages on the trains. All platforms at all stations are now meant to be managed by a platform guard to ensure access onto the carriage for wheelchair users. They then radio through to the destination platform to inform the platform guard a wheelchair user is on board the train and will need the ramp. If all goes to plan the platform guard should be waiting for you at your destination to let you off.
I have found on the older trains that at my destination the guards sometimes forget to let me off. Luckily I am always traveling with someone so they are able to get out and remind the guard. But this is a huge issue if I wasn’t traveling with someone as I would be left on the train.
Nevertheless hopefully the new guard process with the NGR trains might improve this issue, and as mentioned the new trains now have an assistance button. You can now speak to the guards to remind them just in case they forget.
Translink New NGR Train Accessibility
Apart from the NGR trains having the new assistance button the trains actually don’t comply with disability laws and they will need to be all fixed. The new trains disabled toilets do not meet legalisation and the gangways between the accessible seating area and the toilets are too narrow. All the NGR trains accessibility issues are scheduled to be fixed by 2024.
For more information on the South East Queensland Rail Network visit the TransLink website at Translink.com.au
In my opinion I give the Brisbane train Network a rating of 4 for wheelchair accessibility, and a rating of 4 stars for the overall experience .
* I was not financially compensated for this review. The review is based on my own opinion and personal experience.*