The Anonymous Widower

Step-Free Provision On Elizabeth Line West Of Paddington

The stations may be step-free between street and platform, but West of Paddington, there does not appear to be step-free access between the platform and the train.

These pictures show a selection of stops.

Compare these steps of a few inches, with those I showed in Step-Free Access Between Train And Platform On The Elizabeth Line.

These pictures were taken between Woolwich and Paddington stations and show first class step-free access between train and platform.

The step-free access on the Western branch of the Elizabeth Line does not appear to be up to the standard expected of a world class railway.

Is The Current Arrangement Only Temporary?

I took these pictures at Padding Station today of a Class 345 train alongside Platform 10.

Note.

  1. There are large gaps.
  2. I had a chat with a station guy, who’d just unloaded two wheelchair passengers from the train using a ramp.
  3. He felt things could be improved.
  4. I feel that level access for the Elizabeth Line at Paddington is important.

But when the Elizabeth Line is fully connected, it will be connected to a series of Central London stations, including Paddington, that will have full step-free access between the train and the platform.

So the current arrangement will be improved dramatically in a few months.

The Visitor To London In A Wheel-Chair

The Central London section of the Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Whitechapel or Woolwich stations is step-free between street and train.

So a visitor to London in a wheel-chair might choose to stay in a hotel on this easy section of the Elizabeth Line to make the most of their stay.

But because of the lack of step-free access between train and platform outside of the Central London section, would they have trouble visiting places like Windsor, which would require a change of trains at Slough?

Would It Be Possible To Separate Elizabeth Line and Great Western Railway Services?

Consider.

  • Great Western Railway services between Paddington and Didcot Parkway use the Elizabeth Line platforms at Ealing Broadway, Hayes and Harlington, West Drayton, Slough, Maidenhead, Twyford and Reading.
  • In addition, some express trains stop at Slough and Ealing Broadway.
  • There are also freight trains passing through.

It might be sensible to move the Paddington and Didcot Parkway service to the Elizabeth Line and adjust platform heights appropriately.

June 22, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. Thats the issue with ordering rolling stock to the standard high level design. Only stadler seam to have addressed this by lowering the floor height to the standard platform height. Raising the platform height in the central section was not the best option as this now means reduced gauge clearance compared to the rest of the UK

    Comment by Michael Fox | June 22, 2022 | Reply

  2. The step free access in the central section (and Heathrow) is only possible because of the lower speeds through the platforms and one kind of stock. They also have a rubber piece between the platform and train that can “collapse” to allow what movement there is on the train at slow speed. Some normal freight vehicles wouldn’t get through these platforms.
    The lower standard platforms on the rest of the network allow trains to pass at higher speeds and without hitting the platform.

    Comment by Mike Dyson | June 22, 2022 | Reply

    • I could be wrong, but didn’t Heathrow take both 332s and 360s (and now 387s)?

      Trains with similar gaps (height & length) wise to typical UK railway platforms

      Comment by Jjjfjf | June 22, 2022 | Reply

  3. Definitely a bit of a bodge.. I wonder whether articulated trains a la 745 are the only solution to get the lower floor & therefore doors…

    Heathrow sounds like a bit of a worry as well

    Comment by Jfjjf | June 22, 2022 | Reply

  4. You should have taken a pic of the gap on platform 4 (eastbound platform) at Ealing Broadway from carriage 7. It’s one hell of a drop.

    Comment by Andrew Bruton | June 24, 2022 | Reply

    • I didn’t get out, but I will take a look soon.

      Incidentally, I got talking to an Elizabeth Line station guy at Liverpool Street and she said that they had been trained that when someone with restricted movement gets on the train to check that they can complete the journey and if necessary to message ahead for assistance.

      Comment by AnonW | June 24, 2022 | Reply

      • ‘I got talking to an Elizabeth Line station guy and “she” said….. LoL!

        Comment by Andrew Bruton | June 24, 2022


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