Rail operator refused to stop for disabled boy

14-year-old wheelchair-bound Viktor Magnusson wanted to take the train from Sundsvall to Uppsala to visit his sister, but he was told by rail operator SJ staff that he could not get off the train as it "would take too long".

“They said ‘we can’t fuss about like this at every station’. But there is only one space for a wheelchair on every train,” said Viktor’s mother, Ann-Louise Magnusson, to the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

Ann-Louise Magnusson told the newspaper that her son would have been forced to stay on the train to Stockholm and then take a train back to Uppsala at his own expense. As the extended journey would have left him only two and half hours in Uppsala they decided against the trip.

The Magnussons have now reported SJ to the discrimination ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsman – DO).

Dag Rosander at SJ told The Local on Friday that the firm is in the process of changing its wheelchair lifts on X2000 trains, work which will be completed in the beginning of 2011.

“We now have a system of manual lifts and what we have said in the time being is that these are available at start and end destinations. It is our policy to then pay for a taxi back to the stations en route.”

Rosander said that the matter is now under investigation.

“The family called our customer service and should have been informed about this. We are going to contact the mother and get to the bottom of this,” he said.

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