Key Train Requirements document sets the standard for family-friendly travel

Photo by Nik on Unsplash

The Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains has welcomed changes to the key rail industry document used during the procurement and design of new and refurbished trains. The updated Key Train Requirements document (version 7), released in July 2023 by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), includes new clauses covering family-friendly travel.

The Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains met with the drafting group and recounted their experiences of having nowhere to store a pram on trains, having to sit on vestibule floors to feed newborn babies, and being asked to collapse prams with sleeping toddlers on moving trains. The updated document highlights the need for space for unfolded pushchairs or prams separate from areas for wheelchairs and cycles and recommends extending the seat reservation system to pram spaces.

The updated best practice guidance is a key milestone for the Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains, who have been campaigning to improve the lack of facilities for young children on trains since 2020.

Nick Flynn from the Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains commented:

“When traveling by train with my young son in a pushchair, I was shocked at how the needs of babies, young children and their parents appeared to have been completely ignored during the design of new trains that had been purchased at significant expense. We hope that the updated Key Train Requirements will prompt those specifying and designing trains to consider the needs of babies, young children and their carers, and to ensure that those needs are met.”

Joe Thomas from the Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains added:

“The update to the Key Train Requirements document is a key milestone for our campaign. We are grateful to the Key Train Requirements drafting group for giving us the opportunity to propose these changes, and for the widespread support we have received across the rail industry to include our campaign asks like reservable space for unfolded prams in the new document. Our campaign will continue to hold the rail industry to account to ensure that these best practice guidelines are implemented during the refurbishment of existing trains and procurement of new rolling stock. As train carriages can have a lifespan of 30 years and are very expensive to retrofit, it is critically important that they are designed for young families from the outset. This will ensure that new parents and children aren’t excluded from the railways and that trains do not contribute to the parenthood penalty.”

Notes for editors

The Key Train Requirements document assists rolling stock procurers, specifiers, manufacturers and system suppliers to compile procurement specifications for new and refurbished trains.

The Campaign for Family-Friendly Trains is a group of parents and carers working for better facilities for children and their families on the UK rail network. The campaign’s main asks are:

  • Reservable space for unfolded prams and pushchairs
  • Family-friendly toilets and baby changing
  • Step-free access and level boarding
  • Playful waiting rooms, including simple play equipment such as a wall toy or play table.

For media please contact:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *