A NEW Virtual Reality (VR) simulation is being developed to support disabled people to better access travel on a train firm's services.

The technology, introduced by Northern, will allow passengers to explore their journey and the support they require in advance, from the comfort of their own home.

Users will be able to experience trains, stations and interact with station and on-board staff in a realistic simulated environment on their own phones, tablets and PCs or even in low cost VR headsets for a full experience.

Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said: "This technology is the first of its kind and has been developed alongside the independent Northern Accessibility User Group (NAUG) and supported by Northern, to empower people to use public transport – no matter their circumstances."

Th project has just launched testing of the first demonstrator prototype, with the game being put through its paces by a group of volunteers.

The simulation has been designed to help disabled passengers, and anyone who is anxious about travelling for any reason, to build confidence and familiarity before travelling by playing one of a range of characters with different accessibility needs and journey scenarios.