La Trobe University is calling for comment on a train platform ramp that allows people in a wheelchair to board and exit a train without assistance.

The gap between a railway station platform and any train represents a major hazard and risk for passengers, which is amplified for mobility device users, people with disability, the elderly and young children.

The automated ramp is designed to sit on the train or platform for helping people to get on or off the train and removes the need for passengers to ask for assistance.

“It unfolds when the train stops and the ramp automatically comes out once the door is open,” La Trobe Centre for Technical Infusion, deputy director, Erik van Vulpen told F2L. He said a decision where to locate the platform on the train was still to be decided. “Ideally every door should have one but placing it at a door in the first carriage would be a good start.

“The project, led by National Transport Research Organisation, is working on adapting these ramps for Melbourne trams however there is an issue as some stops don’t have a platform and stop on the road, which means the road would need to be elevated and we are working on that.”

There is also interest from the Department of Transport with questions raised when it comes to changes to the platform, safety and whether it would result in train delays.

The university is seeking community feedback with a survey on the current solution, the manual ramp and the proposed automated ramp built by Rofraus. “Decision makers are rightfully conservative when it comes to changes to the platform as it relates to safety, so we are trying to create a support base to help at least start a trial,” he said.

Those participating in the survey can leave their details and receive a $25 reimbursement card as a thank you. Go to: