Journey Care

Let us help you have a hassle-free journey

Extra help for those who need it

Our Journey Care team’s mission in life is to make sure customers with restricted mobility or access have as easy and enjoyable experience with us as everyone else.

They can help with planning your journey, buying tickets, reserving seats and wheelchair space, help when you arrive at the station, changing trains or when you reach your destination. Anything really, to make your journey go as smoothly as possible.

If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult, you may qualify for discounted travel – ask our Journey Care team for details.


Let us know you’re coming

Whether you booked in advance or not, we want to help you in any we can, but planning ahead helps too. So if you know you’re going to be travelling, let us know 24 hours before your journey, and we’ll make sure the team are on hand with any help you may need. 

Don't worry if you are not able to book assistance in advance.  We have staff available at all of our stations, although priority will be given to those who have booked assistance in advance.

Call our Journey Care team on 03457 225 225 (lines are open Monday to Saturday from 8am - 8pm and Sunday 10am - 8pm), or use the Text Relay Service on 18001 03457 225 225

We’re continually reviewing and improving accessibility to our services and stations, so if you have feedback, comments or suggestions, use a comment form available from any of our stations and trains.

Journey Care team

Our Journey Care team can help you in all kinds of situations, such as:

  • Advice about access at the stations you want to use
  • Help planning the best route and buying tickets
  • Assisting you when you arrive at the station, change trains or reach your destination
  • Reserving seats, including wheelchair spaces and extra legroom if you’re travelling with assistance dogs
  • Helping with all these things when buying tickets for other train operators’ services. (Some train operators don’t offer seat reservations on their services, but we can still help arrange assistance).

To find out more please contact the Virgin Trains East Coast Journey Care team:

  • Telephone  03457 225 225
  • Text rely service  18001 03457 225 225
  • Open Monday to Saturday from 8am - 8pm and Sunday 10am- 8pm

Your journey with us

We aim to provide all necessary assistance to disabled customers throughout our network, whether this has been booked in advance or not. We recommend that arrangements are made in advance whenever possible to ensure that we are able to meet you and help you accordingly.


Wheelchair spaces

All our trains can carry wheelchairs. The maximum dimensions we accept varies by train type:

  • Electric train 120cm long and 70cm wide in both First or Standard accommodation.
  • Diesel train 120cm long by 70cm wide in Standard accommodation. 

We do have a wheelchair space in First accommodation on these Diesel trains. However, due to the very old design of the trains the aisle to access the wheelchair space in First will only fit wheelchairs up to 55cm wide and there is no accessible toilet (just a standard sized toilet). For this reason it is inaccessible to nearly all wheelchair users.

In addition, two of our diesel trains have a slightly different seating layout with the wheelchair space and accessible toilet being located in First rather than Standard Class.  If you have reserved a wheelchair space on one of these trains, or require a wheelchair space and one is available, we’ll upgrade you to the First Class space on the train for free. Our teams at the station can advise what type the train you are due to travel on will be.


Accessible toilets

Our wheelchair accessible toilets are located in Standard accommodation coach F and our electric trains have a second accessible toilet in First Class coach L.

However, two of our diesel trains have a slightly different design as the only wheelchair accessible toilet on-board is located in First Class coach L. If you are due to travel on this train and you require wheelchair space, our staff will aim to seat you in coach L subject to the space being available.

Discounted travel

If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult you may qualify for discounted travel.

Concessionary fares

If you’re registered as blind or visually-impaired and are travelling with another person then you’re entitled to special concessionary fares and discounts.

You can save:

  • 34% discount on First Class/Standard Anytime Singles or Returns
  • 34% discount on First Class/Standard Anytime Day Singles
  • 50% discount on First Class/Standard Day Returns

Please carry a document confirming your visual impairment when buying your ticket and when travelling. This must be from a recognised institution such as Social Services, your Local Authority, The Royal Institute for the Blind (RNIB) or St Dunstans'.

Wheelchair users

If you need to stay in your own wheelchair during your journey the above concessionary fares also apply if you are travelling alone or to any one adult travelling with you. 

Disabled Person’s Railcard

If you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult you might qualify for the Disabled Person's Railcard.

A Railcard gives you and an adult companion 1/3 off most Standard and First Class fares throughout the UK. It also lets you purchase discounted tickets on the train you’re travelling on.

Find out more with the ‘Rail travel made easy’ guide published by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). These are available at major stations, or at

A one year card currently costs £20. A three year card is also available for £54.

Season tickets for the visually impaired

If you are blind or visually-impaired you can buy a season ticket that allows a companion to travel with you for free. You can buy these tickets at staffed stations, just remember to carry a document confirming your visual impairment when buying your ticket and travelling. This needs to be from a recognised institution such as Social Services, your Local Authority, The Royal Institute for the Blind (RNIB) or St Dunstans’.


We'll do our best to take care of you during disruptions

Delays & alternative transport

If the train you are due to catch is seriously delayed, we’ll make sure sure you have a suitable place to wait in the station. We will also help out if there’s a platform change too.

 If your train is seriously delayed or cancelled before you reach your final destination (as shown on your train ticket) we’ll do our best to get you there by other means, either by arranging a seat for you on another train or by alternative transport suitable for your needs. If we still can’t get you to your final destination, we will get you as close as reasonably possible. Where necessary, we will arrange overnight hotel accommodation for you until we can get you there.

If you are travelling on a train operated by another train company and due to circumstances within their control that train is unable to continue its journey, they will try to get you to your final destination by other means.

In certain circumstances, according to the conditions set down in our Passenger's Charter, compensation and refunds will be available.

You can find out more about our Delay Repay policy here.

When services and facilities are unavailable

We always do our best to make sure that the facilities you need to use on our services, such as lifts and call-for-assistance buttons, are in good working order. If they fail and cannot be repaired immediately, our Assisted Travel team will be informed of the problem and estimated repair time as soon as possible. We also pass this information on to other train operators. Wherever possible, we will offer other means of access or alternative transport free of charge.

We will consult the Department for Transport about any facilities we remove permanently and provide a suitable replacement. Very occasionally, trains may not have the anticipated wheelchair spaces or wheelchair-accessible toilets in place if, for example, the appropriate coach is not available. In the rare cases of wheelchair-accessible toilets not working, we’ll give you the option of catching a different train.

Emergency evacuation

Each station has an individual station evacuation plan that describes procedures to be adopted by employees if there’s a fire, security alert or similar incidents. The plan defines specific responsibilities for each party involved in the emergency. Our people are trained in these procedures at induction training and subsequently through regular briefings. These plans will be regularly reviewed and we will endeavour to consult with appropriate disability groups.

 Our on-train employees are trained in Emergency Evacuation procedures, including the evacuation of customers with disabilities. If you use a wheelchair, our normal policy is not to evacuate you until appropriate support is available unless you are in a life-threatening situation. Our plans will be subject to regular review in consultation with organisations that represent the interests of people with disabilities.