Accessibility & Inclusion

 

Welcoming ALL our guests

What are we doing, and what can you expect?

At Foxfield, we are committed to providing a positive and inclusive experience for ALL our visitors. We strive to ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities or  persuasions, can enjoy the heritage and excitement of our railway. We continuously work towards improving accessibility and making reasonable adjustments to remove any barriers that may exist. This accessibility statement aims to provide information on the facilities and services we offer to assist visitors in planning their visit.

General Accessibility Information:

1. Wheelchair Access: Our premises have wheelchair-friendly pathways and ramps to enable smooth access to different areas of the station building. There are designated wheelchair spaces on the trains, and accessible toilet facilities are available at Caverswall Station.  Due to the historic nature of our carriages, there are not accessible toilets on the train.  We have a wheelchair ramp for our MK1 coaches, please speak with the guard or a member of the footplate crew on arrival and we’ll glad help you on and off.

2. Assistance Animals: We welcome registered assistance animals accompanying visitors with disabilities throughout the premises and on the trains.  

3. Signage: Clear and visible signage is in place to assist visitors in navigating around the railway. Important information and announcements are provided through visual and audio means, but we do not employ a PA system – e.g., the guard will call ‘All aboard’.

4. Parking: Accessible parking spaces are available close to the entrance, ensuring convenient access for visitors with mobility challenges.  Passengers may be dropped off and collected right next to the main station entrance.  The station is step-free access.

5. Volunteer Assistance: A limited number of our volunteers receive training to provide assistance and support to visitors with disabilities. They are knowledgeable about accessibility features and are ready to assist whenever required.  We’re proud to have those in our volunteers who have various needs who work with us and for you. 

6. The station is entirely step-free, except for the Moss Bay viewing platform.  We have produced a video tour you can watch on our YouTube channel.  There is a ramp to get on to the platform, and during the North Pole Express we introduce a one-way system with steps: guests needing the ramp can still do so, please let us know if this is the case.  There is a slight slope on the entrance to the station building.

7. Several of our museum exhibits and items are available as videos where you can watch with subtitles.  

8. Autism-friendly: Railways can be overwhelming places for persons with autism – we recommend creating a social story around what to expect: steam engine whistles, steam blowing out of valves, and diesel horns will be the loudest sound we expect you to encounter, generally on or near the platforms.  Guests are welcome to wear headphones to reduce noise input.  The station may be playing background music for special events like the North Pole Express, or have live music on the veranda on the way in to the main station.   A train ride takes about 50 minutes on a normal running day.  You may prefer to arrive between departures to avoid the crowds.  For special events there may be a timed slot for your arrival: you are welcome to arrive earlier, e.g. between trains. We understand that autistic individuals may have unique ways of interacting or may need additional time to process information, and we will be patient and flexible.  Please speak with the guard or events manager on the day, or let us know in advance.  Our historic buildings at Caverswall and the Colliery are generally free from excessive bright lights, and guests should be able to experience a fairly ‘diffused’ light environment.  At special events there may be additional LED lights, such as Christmas lights.  The main station building has one main corridor, and during peak times (including when one train arrives back and empties) it can be quite crowded.  We welcome guests to sit on the veranda, or the end of the platform where they will be free from most traffic.  We also have benches by the entry gates to the site.  Guests are welcome to bring their own food, drink, containers, and cutlery to use.

Accessible Facilities:

1. Accessible Toilets: We have accessible toilet facilities equipped with handrails and appropriate space for wheelchair maneuverability in Caverswall Station – please note due to the historic nature of our trains there are no accessible toilets on the train.

2. Seating: We provide seating options throughout the railway premises, including on the platforms and waiting areas, to ensure visitors have ample opportunities to rest.

3. Hearing Assistance: We do not currently have any hearing loops, sorry.

4. Visual Impairments: Service animals and white canes are welcome on the premises. We are happy to provide personal assistance for navigating visually impaired visitors, upon request.

5. Catering: Our onsite cafes and dining areas are accessible, offering a range of seating options suitable for individuals with mobility challenges.  We also cater for a variety of diets and allergies, such as vegetarian and vegan.

Diversity & Inclusivity Statement 

At Foxfield, we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all visitors, regardless of their background, identity, abilities, or disabilities. We celebrate diversity and believe that everyone should have equal opportunities to experience and enjoy the rich heritage and charm of our railway. This inclusivity statement aims to express our commitment to creating a safe and inclusive space for all.  We acknowledge differing enthusiasms for different engines, events, and behaviours.

We affirm and support individuals of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. Foxfield welcomes members of the LGBT+ community with open arms. We strive to provide an environment free from discrimination or prejudice. Our volunteers and fellow visitors are expected to treat everyone with respect, dignity, and acceptance, ensuring that all individuals feel safe and valued throughout their visit.  Many of our prominent volunteers and contributors are from the LGBT+ community.  We held our first rainbow day in 2023.  

Continuous Improvement:

We are committed to continually improving accessibility and inclusivity. We regularly review and update our policies, procedures, and facilities to enhance the overall accessibility of our premises and services. We welcome feedback from our visitors to help us identify areas for improvement.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions, concerns, or require further information about accessibility at [Volunteer Steam Railway], please contact our Accessibility Coordinator at flrsenquiries@foxfieldrailway.co.uk.  We will be happy to assist you and provide any necessary support to ensure your visit is enjoyable and accessible.

Note: This accessibility statement is for general informational purposes and may vary depending on the specific facilities and services provided, as well as volunteers on the day.

lt was a wonderful experience for children and adults. Well done, l would recommend to everyone!

- Pamela Argument [Facebook]