The special people rehabilitation inclusive nutrition and games (SPRING) has commissioned to examine ways of improving accessibility to railway stations for people with reduced mobility. The original intention has been to recommend and make changes to one station which would then serve as an example of good practice for others. The modifications have already taken place in one of the railway station. Moreover, this project has carried out by spring, which acts as a benchmark for those with a responsibility for improving access to railway stations, and the steps, which have been taken place for achieving this, are summarized in this report. Rawalpindi railway station has selected for the project because it is typical of many of the older stations and has periods during the week where it is unstaffed. The spring has given details of means of improving access together with their associated costs. They have pointed out that it would have been unrealistic to expect all stations to meet the suggested requirements for a fully accessible station, but that some of the improvements are low cost, e.g. color contrast painted step nosing’s and help button for persons with disability. However, the spring have also stressed that complying with the low cost requirements should not be regarded as absolving responsibility for making the more expensive changes needed to improve access. It is suggested that those responsible for stations should use a consistent approach to the development of accessible features. The report includes an access audit checklist, which can serve to achieve this consistency. The checklist includes items covering access into the station, methods of obtaining a ticket, getting to the correct platform and provision of seating and waiting areas. Obviously enabling people with disabilities to use rail services is the main reason for making the modifications to stations set out in this paper, but there is also a secondary, but still very important issue; that of safety. Research that has carried out by the spring for Rawalpindi transportation authority has disclosed a much higher level of accidents among visually impaired people using public transport than might have been anticipated. The overall findings have suggested that visually impaired people have more accidents whilst using public transport than sighted people, and of those visually impaired people who have travelled by train, 35 percent have at least one accident while so doing. Just over one-fifth of all the rail accidents, which have reported to the spring has resulted in injury and almost 60 percent has occurred when people were either boarding or alighting from the train. The most frequent type of accident when getting on or off has been slipping down the gap between platform and train. Apart from accidents occurring during this maneuver, 26 per cent have happened within the station buildings and a further ten percent on station platforms. The majority of the former has involved people who have fallen on steps or have walked into unmarked objects (posts and pillars) and of the latter most of people who have fallen off the edge of the platform onto the track. Although having had an accident has not deterred most people from continuing to use rail, ten percent have said

Importance of Access The UN convention on the rights of persons with disability (2011) has emphasized the importance of enabling people with disabilities to use all modes of public transport as a matter of course. This recent raising of the profile of access to transport does not mean, however, that it has not been considered, or that no actions have been taken, to improve access in recent years. However, many stations in Pakistan remain unimproved and with poor access. The major problem is that rail infrastructure is extensive – there are in total some 2500 stations – and much of it is old; designed and built long before any thought has given to its use by disabled travelers. This is compounded by the increase over the years in the number of unstaffed stations, of which there are now about 1200. Where the physical attributes of access are inadequate, the presence of railway staff can to some extent compensate for the inadequacy, but this is no longer a realistic proposition at many railway stations. It will be unrealistic to expect that every station on the network should be made fully accessible, but some of the modifications have suggested in this report are low cost and could reasonably be introduced during normal station maintenance.

Accessibility Audit of Railway Station In the first stage of project, spring experts have conducted accessibility audit of the Rawalpindi railway station. In this audit, experts have analyzed the structure of station have suggested points, where accessibility features can be provided such as rams. Experts have also pointed out area, where disability help button can be displayed. They have also given their recommendation regarding door widths and counter heights, which are accepted world-wide as becoming accessible for all types of disabilities. Spring auditors have similarly proposed features of accessible notice-boards and recommended spaces in station, where these boards can be shown to assist all kinds of disabilities. The key responsibility of audit expert has been to make trains accessible. For this, expert has looked into in different options but the best option, which auditor has put forward has been using of power lifter because it is portable and don’t cover much area like rams. He has provided the specification of lifter, which can manage all types of wheel chair.

Entrance to the Station Ramped access has been made available to both ticket offices/ machines and from the outside at all times that trains are in operation. As in the case of Rawalpindi station, there is more than one platform with direct access to the outside. Ramps will be provided for each access. Providing this will make wheelchair access possible from one platform to another. The provision of ramps in this way will be less costly than providing, for example, stair lifts on subways running between platforms. Without direct platform to platform access, however, wheelchair users will often have to

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wheel from the platform at which they arrive around the outside of the station to the place where they parked at the start of their journey. Visually impaired people will require guidance from the outside of the station, through the entrance and into the ticket office. Both ramps and steps have been providing with handrails, designed in accordance with the guidelines’ in “Accessible Public Transport Infrastructure”, and have also painted in a color which provides a strong contrast with the surrounding environment.

Disability Help Button As discussed in accessibility audit that spring has put forward the idea of help button for persons with disability. With the help of this button, persons with disabilities can receive any sort of assistance from getting information about their train timing to getting into their coach. The button has been displayed at the main area of station, covered by pictures of different symbol use for various kinds of disabilities, to notify persons with disabilities. When a person with disability will reach at station, he/ she can press this button. With this, trained railway staff will come to assist persons with disability and will guide him/her according to their query. For this, spring has already given disability sensitization training to 50 officials of Rawalpindi railway station. They have been awarded about placing persons with physical impairment in wheel chair, wheel chair maneuverings and basic sign-language.

Accessible Trains For making trains accessible, spring has proposed power lifter for wheel chair. These power lifter is fully hydraulic in operation, for both the fold/unfold and up/down cycles. Railway officials will regulate the lift operation by the standard handheld control, the on-lift controls, or the optional remote control. The wheelchair lift is designed for installation in the doors of trains. This lift style comes in three size variations to accommodate ranges of chair sizes. The most important feature of this lifter is easy entry and exit access to the platform in tight spaces.

Happiness for Special All!

Office # 465, St # 74, Sector G-8/1 Islamabad – Pakistan. Office # 417 Rania mall Sadar , Rawalpindi. Phone +92-51-5120107 | |
that they will avoid using it in future and a further three percent will only use it if they have an escort. The figures, which have given above illustrate three important factors. First, that improving accessibility must also take account of safety and should be designed with that end in mind. Second, that failure to provide an environment that is safe as well as accessible may cause some people to give up using the service, and third, that access is not just a matter of providing a usable environment for people with physical impairment; sensory impairment must also be taken into account. The

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