The French SNCF train company, a national, state owned company, prides itself in its technology and trains that leave and arrive on time about 85% of the time. However, there’s a not so brilliant aspect to their policy: this concerns access to the trains for those with a handicap: either the actual handicapped, or the very young, or older population.
My two children, between 8 and 12, have to take the train for three hours on their own. I was looking for information online on access to the train. Why? I’d noted that when taking ID TGV tickets ( the low cost breed of tickets actually run by a company separate from the SNCF, but that use the same TGV trains) access to the platform is only allowed for those with tickets. This makes controlling tickets on the train unnecessary and probably helps reduce costs for ID TGV.
But imagine leaving my two children on their own to find their train car, lift their suitcases and stow them away somewhere without my help?
So I wanted to make sure that at least for those with ‘ traditional ‘ TGV train tickets, access to the platform was possible for individuals dropping off travelers.
I performed a search for “ accÃ¨s train “, and found a response that seemed appropriate: the site address was: http://mission-voyageurs-handicapes.sncf.com/. Which means “SNCF Project for handicapped travelers”. However, guess what one gets when one tries to access the site?
This pathetic “site unavailable” message: no phone number, no address… You’re handicapped? Too bad, better not take the train.
Two sisters, both handicapped, recently found out they could not take the train together because the trains could not accomodate for two handicapped persons at ounce…