Barrier-free travel for the mobility-impaired
If you have a mobility impairment and need advice on planning your journey, wish to make a seat reservation or require timetable information – we are happy to answer any questions you may have and provide practical assistance.
Mobility Service Centre
If you wish telephone assistance, simply call the Deutsche Bahn service hotline at +49 (0) 180 6 99-6633 *) which is staffed 24/7. Please press 9 for english inquiries and you will immediately be put through to a qualified employee.
You can, of course, also call the Mobility Service Centre at the usual number +49 (0) 180 6 512-512 *) to arrange for assistance with boarding, changing or alighting from trains at many stations, to purchase tickets or to reserve seats or a space for a wheelchair. You can also order these services by fax at +49 (0) 180 6 159-357 *) or Book a mobility service online here, where full information is available.
Mobility Service Centre opening hours: daily 6:00–22:00 h
*) 14 ct/min for German landline calls, mobile phone charges may vary
Please do not hesitate to call us or contact us by e-mail if you have any questions about suitable trains, wish to know whether a station is barrier-free or require information about transfer times. If you are dependent on a wheelchair, for instance, are blind or sight-impaired and need assistance when boarding, changing or alighting from trains, the staff at our Mobility Service Centre will gladly arrange everything you need for your journey. Please note that arrangement can be made until 20:00 (MET) one working day before your departure at the latest. Needless to say, we should also be glad to help you order tickets and seat reservations and can send your travel documents to you by post if you wish, or have them deposited at the station so that you can collect them there.
Nearly all long-distance stations throughout Germany have hoists or ramps for use as mobile boarding aids. Many local trains have integrated boarding aids such as hoists, automatic ramps or manual bridging ramps to enable passengers with a disability to use smaller and medium-sized stations. In addition to these aids, DB staff, members of the Travellers’ Aid Society and other social services are available to provide assistance at approx. 300 stations. All assistance provided by DB staff and the Travellers’ Aid Society is free of charge. If assistance is provided by a third party, the organisation concerned will settle accounts directly with you. However, as assistance cannot be provided at all stations and at all times, we advise you to contact the Mobility Service Centre before your journey to find out whether assistance will be available for you when boarding, changing or alighting from the train at the station and time you require.
A seat reservation is particularly important for passengers with a mobility impairment, as it can sometimes be difficult to find a seat on the train, for instance at weekends and during holiday periods, when many people travel by rail. Moreover, there are only a limited number of special seats available for passengers with a disability, whether or not they use a wheelchair. We generally advise you to reserve a seat if you have arranged for someone to collect you at the transfer or destination station, as that person will be able to locate you more easily with the help of the coach and seat number. If you have to be accompanied at all times and have a disabled person’s ID card issued in Germany, which states the category “B” or “Bl”, we can reserve either one or two seats for you free of charge.
Timetable information is available 24/7 from the toll-free German landline telephone number +49 (0) 800 1 50-7090, which uses our practical voice dialogue system.
Owing to the statutory provisions on compensation for disadvantages pursuant to the German Social Security Code IX, persons with a disability are entitled to certain concessions when travelling by rail. You can travel free of charge on all product class C trains, i.e. local trains including D trains, on all routes stated in your personal route list provided you have a valid token from the authority which issues disabled person’s ID cards (“Versorgungsamt”). If your disabled person’s ID card states the category “B”, an accompanying person is also entitled to travel with you free of charge on all long-distance and local trains.
Use of 1st class
You are entitled to use 1st class if your disabled person’s ID card states the category "1. Kl." This applies:
– on all local trains (S, RB, RE, IRE) and D trains on the routes in your personal route list stated in your disabled person’s ID card (incl. supplement and token)
– with a 2nd class ticket on all DB trains, except for journeys on special trains or in special coaches and in the case of tickets where the fare includes a supplement for special packages etc. In that case, you do not need to have a supplement or token.
Free travel, irrespective of the disabled person’s place of residence, is also available:
– on D trains (long-distance trains)
– on IRE, RE, RB trains and S-Bahn rapid transit trains (local trains)
This applies to all 2nd class journeys on the routes stated in your personal route list and on routes operated by transport associations (long-distance trains can be used only if these can be used on a transport association ticket).
– 2nd class travel on local trains run independently by non-DB railway companies
– on all local bus routes. This is generally defined as routes which do not exceed a distance of 50 km
– 2nd class travel on local trains inside transport associations and tariff associations on which transport association tickets are valid
– free travel for any necessary accompanying person: this is possible if your disabled person’s ID card states the category “B” and the remark “Die Notwendigkeit ständiger Begleitung ist nachgewiesen” or “Die Berechtigung zur Mitnahme einer Begleitperson ist nachgewiesen“ (This person has to be accompanied at all times.) has not been deleted. This regulation also applies even if the passenger with a disability does not have a token.
– a guide dog can be carried free of charge instead of an accompanying person. Please note: a guide dog as well as an accompanying person can be carried free of charge if the letters “Bl” are stated in your disabled person’s ID card.
– Accompanying persons can travel:
on all local and long-distance trains, as well as Autozug and CityNightLine, (except special trains and coaches), local and long-distance bus lines, on trains run by other railways, on Lake Constance, Überlinger See district, on routes to and from the North Sea islands and in seated cars of night trains.
Benefits as part of compensation for disadvantages
Persons with a disability travelling with Deutsche Bahn are entitled by law to some benefits as “compensation for disadvantages”. These are tied to certain conditions:
Requirements: disabled person’s ID card and token
Disabled persons are entitled to claim benefits if they have an official disabled person’s ID card issued in Germany, which is green with an orange imprint on half the page, and a supplement with a valid token or an additional personal route list.
The tokens are available from the authority which issues your disabled person’s ID card, together with your personal route list (“Versorgungsamt”). The tokens are valid for either one year or six months and currently cost 60 euros or 30 euros.
Disabled persons who are blind or helpless, who claim unemployment benefit or regular supplementary benefits pursuant to the German Social Security Act or equivalent war victim benefits are entitled to these tokens free of charge.
Free carriage of aids
A wheelchair can, of course, be carried free of charge even if the disabled person’s ID card does not have a supplement or token:
– on all local and long-distance trains (except special trains and special coaches) in combination with a ticket or with your personal route list and token
– on local and long-distance omnibus lines, provided that the bus is suitable for the carriage of wheelchairs
Further information on the “Carriage of orthopaedic aids”
If you have a mobility impairment and wish to travel with Deutsche Bahn but have to take an orthopaedic aid with you, please get in touch with us. We shall be happy to help you.
Our guidelines for the carriage of orthopaedic aids contain a list and description of all the aids that can be carried. These regulations have been drawn up on the basis of the technical facilities available at the stations and on board the trains. Amongst other things, this means that your orthopaedic aid has to conform to international standard ISO 7193 and must not exceed the dimensions stated in that standard.
To download the guidelines, please follow the link at the end of this page (guidelines only available in German).