Research cooperation between the TU Wien, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, and Bombardier Transportation Austria GmbH

Project Description

Construction methods suitable for the disabled, taking into account barrier-free access for people with limited mobility

Within the framework of a research cooperation between the TU Wien and Bombardier Vienna, the basic principles for the development of the next generation of streetcars are to be developed in Focus 5.

Within this cooperation, the ergonomics working group in the field of labor science and organization at the Institute of Management Sciences is developing concepts to improve and support barrier-free access in inner-city rail transport. During the project period from 01.02.2008 to 31.01.2011, actual conditions will be analyzed, the requirements of those affected will be ascertained, and functional analyses will be carried out in order to create resulting guidelines for the access area and technical concepts.


Solutions for barrier-free access to inner-city railroads are to be generated. For their implementation, catalogs are to be developed which, for example, show the needs of the various groups of mobility-impaired persons, summarize the technical standards and laws, and advise on the ergonomic requirements.

The final result will be a guide for Bombardier employees on how to design the boarding area for disabled access. The design requirements and design guidelines contained therein should make it easier in the future to find a satisfactory solution for a given problem.

For this purpose, the present work considers, in parallel, two areas of investigation. On the one hand, the users of the facilities and their disabilities, and on the other hand, the facilities to be designed and interfaces themselves.

Target Group

The term mobility-impaired person includes physical impairments (e.g., walking, hearing, or visually impaired people), psychological impairments (e.g., reduced information processing), travel impairments (e.g., strollers or luggage), and life stage impairments (e.g., elderly people). The needs of the aforementioned groups of people will be considered using qualitative and quantitative interviews.

Facilities / Interfaces

As a second area, as already mentioned, the existing (necessary) facilities are considered.

In addition to optimizing access, it is also necessary to consider some areas inside the car. Without considering these two areas together, it is not possible to find an optimal solution for improving access, since it must be ensured that the persons concerned can also "move on" inside the car and in order to be able to take up a correspondingly safe position.

The system boundaries are chosen in such a way that the following areas are investigated:

  •  Interface vehicle - environment:
    • This includes both the problem of transferring from the platform to the vehicle and the special case of unscheduled stops and disembarkations on open track.
    • If necessary, technical aids and their design guidelines will be investigated on the platform and on the vehicle side.
  •  Controls in the entry area: This includes the door control elements (inside and outside) and emergency devices for emergency door opening and communication with (train) staff.
  •  Requirements inside the car: Space requirements, arrangement of information displays, operating elements, and general requirements for card validators and card vending machines.


  • Data determination: This includes research and analysis of standards, literature, laws, existing solutions and user experiences. In addition, the object of investigation and the problem are defined and presented.
  •  Functional analysis: With the help of a functional analysis of the necessary devices, an abstraction of the devices is made. From this, alternative solution options can be presented through the function assignment.
  •  Function assignment: The results of the functional analysis are assigned to the ergonomic requirements.
  •  Synthesis

Project poster (PDF), opens a file in a new window


  • Bombardier
  • Institute of Engineering Design and Product Development - Ecodesign
  • Institute of Production Engineering and Photonic Technologies
  • Institute of Mechanics and Mechatronics