During 2018, the Department of Transport and Main Roads carried out an in-depth consultation program with the disability sector to explore design changes and resolve non-compliances of the Queensland Rail narrow gauge network.
As a result of this process, the Queensland Government has committed funding to rectify the NGR trains and provide improved functionality including:
- reconfiguration of the unisex accessible toilet module to an extended footprint to meet dimensions and improve functionality
- adding a second unisex toilet module to all 75 trains to ensure all wheelchair accessible spaces have compliant access to accessible facilities
- reconfiguration of seating and allocated spaces in both accessible cars
- increase in the number of priority seats throughout the train
- improved signage (including wording and braille)
- additional grab/handrails, and redesign of equipment to make it easier to operate for customers with limited dexterity
- changes to functionality and additional systems for assistance request and information.
As Independent Certifier, APP will review the modifications to the 75 recently delivered NGR trains to address the accessibility issues over the course of the next four years.
Work to redesign and rectify the trains is underway with the first of the newly designed trains expected to be rectified and back on the network in 2020. All 75 NGR trains will be rectified and operating on the network by 2024.