The Anonymous Widower

Should All Trains Have Grab Handles By The Doors?

These pictures show the vertical grab handles on London Overground Class 710 trains.

Note the vertical handles everywhere and especially tucked into the corner behind the door.

These pictures show the interior of a 1973 Stock train on the Piccadilly Line.

There are worse trains in the UK.

It should be noted that the trains were extensively refurbished in 1996-2001.

Should all trains have lots of grab handles like these two examples? And especially by the door?

I think they should.

This is an interesting picture of a Siemens design study, which I wrote about in Siemens’ View Of The Future Of The Underground.

Note the grab handles by the sides of the doors.

So at least Siemens are following the rule of grab handles by the door.

November 3, 2021 - Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , ,


  1. Well they are now under Accessibility Regulations for People of Reduced Mobility , RAVR 2015, which I think applies to Light Rail and PRM NTSNs as they are now known post Brexit, for Mainline Rail

    Comment by fammorris | November 3, 2021 | Reply

  2. I regularly use C2C and often use the handrails they have on their trains especially at stations with platforms which are lower than the train floors .

    As for inside trains I remember an episode of the £15 billion railway about Crossrail where a carriage mock-up was built and when Crossrail’s expert on trains arrived he noted where spaces existed because of a lack of grab poles leaving large spaces where standing passengers would not have somewhere to hold onto .

    Comment by Melvyn | November 3, 2021 | Reply

  3. For a short-distance commuter train whose design envisages most passengers standing, grab handles/poles are essential. For longer-distance, limited-stop (eg intercity) trains there’s less need, except by the door, where I think it’s always helpful. But even if poles and straps (remember them?!) aren’t necessary, passengers still need something to grab on to if they are moving along the train to use the toilet or to go to another seat (eg if they’ve been told the doors in their carriage won’t open because their alighting station has a short platform). Knobs on seat backs serve that purpose better than poles, in my view.

    In the event of an accident, however, poles could cause injury to standing passengers, who, I imagine, would always be safer in a seat.

    Comment by Stephen Spark | November 3, 2021 | Reply

    • What I find astounding is that the Bakerloo Line trains have no grab handles by the doors. Did that contribute to the accident that caused the passengers death?

      Comment by AnonW | November 3, 2021 | Reply

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