Advice for Traveling by Train

From a Community Member:

I want to know if anyone has traveled by train. The website says the trains are accessible in terms of boarding, but that you have to sit in your chair for the entire trip. Given that could be days, and that you have paid for a seat, why can’t you use it? And how do you get to a bathroom, etc., including if the aisles and doors are wide enough to go the dining room, for instance.

getting an accessible room or roomette is the best option for long travel. Yes it is more expensive but the upside is maneuverability and privacy

We went from Michigan to Montana in May. I am in a wheelchair and can use a walker for a few steps. We got an accessible room that Thad a bathroom right in the room. We ate all our meals in the room. The food was very good (best cheesecake I’ve ever had) and the staff were wonderful! The only downside is I stayed in the room the whole time because I couldn’t maneuver the wheelchair through the narrow walkway. But honestly…I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the scenery. And again…the staff were wonderful.

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I travel by train often. If it a long distance I get a room and 1 person with me gets half off the fare as my attendant. There is a toilet and sink in the room. Shower might be a problem. There is one but not fully accessible. I arrive rested because I can lie down when I need to and meals can be delivered to your room. The best trip in my opinion is the Empire line that goes from Chicago to Seattle but there are others equally nice. Amtrak is very helpful. I have also traveled on the El in Chicago and they were also helpful.

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If you couldn’t get through the aisles, what happened to your wheelchair?

I barely squeezed down the short “aisle” as I headed to our room. It actually was a hallway. The room was at the end of a car. On one side of the short hallway we’re two bathrooms and other side was storage. I have to admit, I might have left a scratch on the wall. I apologize for calling it an aisle. It was really a short hallway. hope this makes more sense.

Good question – I’m not sure if everyone on this thread is talking specifically about Amtrak or something else. Likewise interested but apprehensive about train travel. Would like to do Seattle to San Francisco (or maybe San Diego), as well as their Vancouver to Montreal trek.

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The Pacific Surfliner between SLO and San Diego has beautiful views but there have been recent track clisures, particularly in San Clemente due to erosion and it may be a long time before it is fixed completely. Bus service is provided around the closed areas of track. You should contact Amtrak about how accessible the buses are as I have no idea. The lower level of the Surfliner train is accessible


It’s been a while since we rode Amtrak, but the equipment (while aging) was suitable and the staff very helpful. It’s best to book directly on the phone.