We would like to see as much of the US and Canada as possible by train. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
I too would love to travel again by train. However, the last I checked with Amtrak, the news was not great. Basically, they may have cars that might be considered handicapped accessible. The definition is loosely defined. A cane or semi mobile might work but not a wheelchair bound guest. The other issue is that they change out cars from time time. So, if you start with a car or two that might work, there is no way to guarantee the same cars would be available for the whole trip. So, if anyone has better info, I would love to hear about it. We did travel by train before Mary’s stroke and we loved that mode of transportation.
I haven’t been on a train either. Sorry
I have a fair bit of experience with trains in both countries. I think trains are the best way to travel. Big windows, less security and pre-board times, usually on time although many will disagree, AND you are not separated from your wheelchair. Much less stressful.
Canada: Via Rail. No problem if the width of your chair is no more than 26 inches wide. Otherwise, you need an accessible car Last summer I had to change my time because they refuse to put the accessible car on a different train. I’m not sure if they can legally refuse such a request. There been several human rights complaints. Washrooms are not accessible even on their “accessible cars”. Ironic? They actual feed you. They’re good for travelling between Quebec City and Toronto.Not much else.
Canada. The Rocky Mountaineer. If you want to see the Canadian Rockies, the crown jewel of Canada in style, this is your train. I took it some 30 years ago and I still have fond memories. It travels between Vancouver and Calgary via stunning Lake Louise. It also travels between Vancouver and Jasper along the Fraser River Valley. According to their website, they can accommodate wheelchairs up to 24 inches and have ADA washrooms. If you want to see the Columbia Icefields between Calgary and Jasper, you have to take a regular bus. There is a connection from Seattle.
U.S.: Amtrak. About twenty years ago, I dreamed of taking a train across Canada. It was not meant to be due to the reasons above. So I took the California Zephyr from Chicago to Oakland (you have to take local transit to get to San Francisco. From there, I made my way down the coast on the Coastliner, stopping a Monterey, Santa Barbara, L.A. and San Diego… You can request a car with an ADA washroom and even an ADA sleeping compartment with enough advance notice, I have never had one,but it sure sounds better than spending 52 hours in coach, two nights, going from Chicago to Oakland. I have taken several shorter trips with Amtrak and are general satisfied with them.
I believe that Via and Amtrak lets you bring a companion for free or at half price
I hope this helps.
Stephen St. Denis
“Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.”
"For Whom the Bell Tolls", Ernest Hemingway
Wow! Great info Stephen!
Thank you so much!