This section provides general information on barrier-free travel around the regional- and rapid-transit rail network.
In addition, our German-language web pages contain more specific details on conditions at the various regional- or rapid-transit rail stations and at selected points of interest. You will also find schematic diagrams, plans, maps and photos in these pages; they will help you to locate station entrances or exits, toilet facilities, stairways, escalators and lifts. You will also obtain an overview of platform conditions when boarding a train. Stations at which you can interchange between rail and bus services are described in detail, as are barrier-free facilities and contact points at selected points of interest. To find out more simply click the following German-language link Haltestellen und besondere Orte and select the station or point of interest for which you require information.
Stairway-free access to the platform
All barrier-free stations are equipped with ramps or lifts. Our German-language plan “Einstiegshilfen“ provides an overview of barrier-free access at stations and stops in the hvv network.
- Lift cabins or doors (at least 90 cm in width) are generally large enough to enable unhindered access by wheelchair.
- Control buttons inside the lift are arranged in such a way that almost all wheelchair users can reach them without difficulty. Braille instructions are provided in some lifts.
- Whenever possible our lifts allow you to roll your wheelchair in and out without the need to change direction.
- In certain cases voice messages announce each level at which the lift will stop.
- If you require assistance please make use of the emergency intercom installed in each cabin.
Operating status of the lifts
You can find out whether the lifts are currently working via our live info here. If you cannot find the information you are looking for here, please phone the hvv Infoline under 040/19 449 an. Our staff will be pleased to help you.
Various measures have been implemented for the safety and convenience of wheelchair users when boarding rapid-transit- or regional rail services. You can find details in the following sections. Due to factors such as wheel- or track abrasion and suspension fluctuation the vertical step between platform and railcar doorway may be approximately 2–3 cm lower than the maximum value indicated in the text.
U-Bahn (Metro/Underground Rail)
Platforms at barrier-free U-Bahn stations have either been completely raised or partly raised with humps to help you to board more easily. In the case of older rolling stock, the boarding height between platform and doors is maximum 8 cm; in more recent models 5 cm or less. The gap between the platform and the train may vary depending on the structural design of the station and the type and condition of the carriage. It is generally approximately 10-14 cm with older models and 7–11 cm with newer ones. Boarding areas are clearly indicated by colour coding as well as by wheelchair and pram pictograms.
In all cases please board within the designated area to ensure that you will also exit onto a raised platform section at your destination!
S-Bahn (Local and regional Rapid-transit Rail)
When you board more-recently commissioned S-Bahn railcars the vertical step between platform and doorway amounts to a maximum height of 6 cm; in the case of older vehicles this rises to a maximum 16 cm. The only exceptions are on Line S3 at stations between Fischbek and Agathenburg where you will face a vertical step of up to 26 cm. Platforms on this line section cannot be raised as freight trains with protruding loads pass through the stations in question.
All S-Bahn railcars have large, multi-purpose compartments. Wheelchair users can board or leave the train via ramps. Please note that the use of ramps is only permitted at the first doorway behind the front driver`s cockpit. We regret that barrier-free access onto or from trains on Line S3 is not possible at the stations Neukloster, Dollern and Agathenburg.
Please alert the driver by hand signal when the train is approaching. He will then put out the ramp for you directly behind his cockpit. In a straight line roll your wheelchair into the railcar. At this point please tell the driver at which station you intend to leave the train.
Orientation aids for blind or visually-impaired passengers
Guidance systems for the visually impaired have been installed at certain stations; tactile paving-strips with brightly-coloured bordering alert visually-impaired passengers and enable them to proceed in the correct direction with the aid of their white stick. Tactile paving is fitted into platform surfaces and in some station concourses.
Detailed text information on such stations is provided in our German-language web page Haltestellen und besondere Orte; please click the link “Skizzenbeschreibungen“.
Most platform edges at U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations are marked with a wide warning strip. Platforms at many regional rail stations display a white safety strip which clearly indicates the danger zone.
Both these markings are for your safety; do not cross beyond them unless your train is already standing at the platform.
Acoustic signals also help you to find your way around; instantly-recognizable tones to alert you that train doors are about to close, for example, and announcements by station staff or on board the train, the latter informing you of the next station at which it will halt. On S-Bahn and regional R-Bahn rail services the side of the train from which to exit is also announced.
Doorways on U-Bahn or S-Bahn rail services are easy to find; the high-contrast design, brightly-coloured direction arrows and clearly-distinguishable rubber-lip edging all help you to locate the doorway.
Orientation aids for passengers with impaired hearing
When on the platform please observe all text instructions presented on the overhead destination display. More recent electronic display units also provide information on actual departure times, timetable changes and service disruption. On-board Infoscreen television is installed in U-Bahn railcars; please check the screen for details on any timetable changes or service disruption and the next station at which the train will halt. Electronic display in all more-recent S-Bahn railcars inform you in advance of each station at which the train will halt.
Personal safety and security
- In case of emergency you will find a help-point intercom on all U-Bahn and S-Bahn platforms at which you can request assistance. Any general information you may require is also provided here!
- Spoken communication with the driver via intercom is possible on all trains.
- On board regional rail services the train conductor or driver will gladly provide advice or assistance whenever you face a problem or emergency.