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TOC Ability – January 2018 development update

TOC Ability is a seven-partner consortium who are developing a digital platform to improve the rail travel experience for customers with accessibility needs in the UK. Co-funded by the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) TOC’16 Innovation Programme, the project aims to improve travelling by train for disabled people.

This is achieved through sharing rail journey requirements through a collaborative ‘intelligent accessibility hub’, which enables train operators’ information systems to exchange real-time data about rail journeys between disabled customers and train station staff.

The project, valued at circa £1.4 million, is running for a period of 20 months during which the consortium is scoping, developing and piloting the TOC Ability platform.


Progress made to date

Since the project started in April 2017, the following progress has been made:

  • Market research was carried out to understand how the rail industry currently caters for accessibility needs.
  • Requirements workshops were held with our TOC Ability Access Panel (TAAP) and staff from Arriva UK Trains (who run London’s Overground services, ‘Arriva Rail London’) and TfL (who run London Underground), to scope the TOC Ability solution, and a functional requirements specification for TOC Ability was produced.
  • The solution was captured in a Technical Specification and designed by Enable iD. This design was approved by Arriva UK Trains and TfL, along with the use of innovative help-point interfaces in London Overground stations.
  • The project is currently in the development phase, where there is an iterative process of development, testing and feedback station staff and the TOC Ability Access Panel (TAAP) over 10 months (from October 2017 to July 2018).


Next steps

As we progress through the development and testing iterations, it is key for stakeholders such as our TOC Ability Access Panel and community of TOC operational staff to review the TOC Ability solution and provide feedback. If you require further information on this process please contact:

The live trial is scheduled for August and September 2018. This will involve testing in a live train station environment across London with the project’s TOC Ability Access Panel and their wider community. Chosen sites to date include Wembley Central and Harrow and Wealdstone (London Underground), Carpenders Park and Willesden Junction (London Overground), and we are also exploring further links with Arriva UK Trains and Northern to test the solution outside of London.