Leading the way: inclusion and accessibility shape
Cross River Rail’s stations

On Yuggera and Turrbal Country in Brisbane, Australia, the transformational Cross River Rail project is making public transport accessible and inclusive for all.

As progress continues on the city-shaping metro that will be ready to welcome local, interstate and international visitors for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, we take a closer look at the initiatives that will improve the accessibility of Cross River Rail’s stations and future public projects.

Designing for inclusive, dignified, and intuitive urban transport starts with understanding the experience of all who will travel on the rail network, which is why Hassell is working closely with the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority to prioritise engagement with community groups and people with diverse needs. 

Lead Architect Tanya Golitschenko was determined to go beyond listening and was instrumental in the co-design process with the community.

The aim is to really understand their lived experience and understand the different technologies that will assist them in their journey.”

— Tanya Golitschenko, Lead Architect and advocate for equity and inclusion

Cross River Rail Accessibility Reference Group. Images left, right, below and video courtesy of Cross River Rail Delivery Authority. Photo of Yeronga Station (top) by Scott Burrows.
David Saxberg discussing accessibility for rail stations
Accessibility Reference Group member David Saxberg (right) with Hassell’s Lead Architect Tanya Golitschenko (left) and CRR Customer Manager Haylee Baas (middle).

Thirty-one year old David Saxberg, who has been totally blind since he was seven, is a member of the Accessibility Reference Group for the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority. The purpose of an Accessibility Reference Group is to ensure that any accessibility issues are addressed so the whole experience works for everyone.

My ambition is to see all Cross River Rail stations — both above and underground — accessible and inclusive for all.”

— David Saxberg, Cross River Rail Accessibility Reference Group member

Initiatives resulting from Accessibility Reference Group insights include raising the complete length of the existing platforms to reduce the step gap from the train to the platform; adding new lifts and stairs to access every platform from street entries; and better access in terms of vehicle parking and drop-off zones across the stations. The technology is also being upgraded to make the stations more accessible, bringing together leading audio visual technology such as implementing hearing loops more extensively across the stations, and including braille maps at the station entries. Importantly, access and safety are improved in tandem with rubber fingers’ being installed at the platform edge to eliminate the gap between platform and trains.

The features that are being implemented are going to benefit everyone.” 

— David Saxberg, Cross River Rail Accessibility Reference Group member

One feature that I really like and I’ve seen at Yeronga is a platform fill-a-gap’. It’s a nice transition from a platform to the train so no one can fall,” remarks David, who is also a fan of the other accessibility features being implemented across the network. For instance, tactile maps are really good because you get a great layout of the station and then you can understand it in theory and then go and put it into practise,” notes David.

Rubber fingers’ close the gap between platforms and trains to help minimise the trip hazard or potential for falls.

Cross River Rail’s Senior Manager for Customer and Network Change Cobi Murphy said it is really important for Cross River Rail to go beyond compliance in the inclusion of accessible features in our stations because the legislation that’s out there is around 20 years old for public transport, and the world has changed since then. We have to make sure that our stations actually reflect the world that we live in now”.

Ultimately, the safety and equity initiatives on Cross River Rail are shaping the best practice for accessible stations — and inclusive public places — in Brisbane and beyond.

Understanding what the barriers are, and mitigating those barriers is our number one goal. Cross River Rail will be a step change in making sure that people are included in this public transport system.”

— Cobi Murphy, Cross River Rail Senior Manager Customer and Network Change

Watch the video below for more on Cross River Rail’s accessibility initiatives.

To access high contrast captioned, Australian Sign Language (Auslan) translated, and descriptive transcript versions of the video, visit Cross River Rail.


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