On 11 and 12 February, the 18th meeting of Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe (PASSAGE) Working Group was held in Brig, Switzerland. The meeting was hosted by Mr Werner Jordan, Product Manager of “Handicap”, the PRM programme for PRMs at SBB. UIC was represented by Mr Ignacio Barrón de Angoiti, Director of the Passengers and High Speed Department and Mr Luis Casado Presa, Senior Advisor.
Representatives from a wide range of railway companies talked about different topics during this meeting. Possible improvements to the UIC Booking Assistance Tool were proposed and later discussed. Another important topic was the new legislation in the European framework and the difficulties members have found when implementing it. There were also discussions about the internal functioning of the group and, of course, railway company representatives gave an updated view on the situation of PRMs in their countries, just to give some examples among the different topics that were on the agenda.
On the second day, a technical visit was organised to Brig railway station. Members of the group could see for themselves the improvements in Swiss rolling stock by visiting a new train with all kind of facilities for PRMs as well as an old train that had been renewed in order to make it accessible. The technical visit finished with a demonstration of the new ticket machines that SBB is developing. These machines are especially designed to deal with PRM needs.
The next meeting will take place in Frankfurt, Germany, from 17 – 18 June 2015.