The Anonymous Widower

Access To Multiple Units

I have been taking some pictures of the grab handles in the doorways of a selection of electric and diesel multiple units.

On most stations, the access between platform and train is a simple step across, but on lots of others, I have to grab the handle to make certain I am safe in the step-up or step-down.


  1. The British Rail-era trains have similar designs.
  2. On some trains, you can’t see the grab handle from the platform, as it is hidden by the door.
  3. The Class 172 and Class 378 Trains are both Bombardier trains of a similar date, but the handles are very different.
  4. The Class 378 train has an asymmetric layout.

I will add more examples.

My Entry And Exit With A Large Step

When I get into a train, where there is a large step, I often poke my head around the door to get a good look at the handle on the right hand side, which I grip with my right hand to balance myself as I step up.

When I get out from a train, where there is a large step, I go to the right, grab the handle and then step out sideways onto my left leg.

I should say that I have the following problems.

  • My left hand and arm isn’t the best, as my humerus was broken by the school bully.
  • I tend to avoid using my left hand.
  • My stroke a few years ago damaged my eyesight low down on the left, so when descending I like to have something to grab.
  • I have a touch of arthritis.
  • I am only one metre seventy tall.

On the other hand, my right hand and arm are strong. I also have no vision problem on the right hand side.

Could Grab Handles Be Designed Better?

They could certainly be designed better for me!

But I am one of millions, who are less than one hundred percent!

I wonder if a University or Design Consultancy has ever looked at the problem of designing a perfect grab handle for a train.

My ideas could include.

  • A grab handle that is longer and goes lower, so it is better for short people and lder children.
  • A grab handle that protrudes slightly from behind the open door, so that entering passengers can see it.
  • A grab handle with a textured surface.
  • Should the grab handle layout be symmetrical.

I would suspect, that if a better design of grab handle could be found, this would speed up entry and exit from the train. Surely train operating companies would like that?

This is not the finished post. Any suggestions and comments will be welcomed.


February 11, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: