Accessible Train Travel in Canada & the U.S.

Canada

See Visit Canada to find out what documents you need to travel, visit family and friends, do business, or transit through Canada.

  • Take Charge of Your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities by the Canadian Transportation Agency
  • Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) Accessible Transportation includes information about accessible transportation throughout Canada. [Select English or French]  Updated

    Access to Travel, your special needs information source, will provide you with facts on accessible transportation and travel across Canada with the aim of making accessible travel easy and enjoyable! This site, created by Transport Canada, has a wealth of information on adapted tourism in Canada as well as a detailed list of Canadian transportation companies offering accessible local, intercity, and national service.

  • Allergies, special meals, and medication

    Get the information you need on the range of special meals offered on VIA trains, medication transportation and storage, and the policy on oxygen bottles:

    • Allergies and special meals
    • Medication
    • Oxygen bottles

Crossing the Border

Traveling by Train

VIA Rail in Canada and Amtrak in the U.S. have excellent services for special needs. To be sure you receive the service you need, purchase your tickets over the telephone and let them know what you need. Services vary from train to train and station to station but if they know in advance what you need, they will be able to help you.

Do the stations have wheelchair access? Can you bring a guide dog or get around in the trains by wheelchair?

Canada: VIA Rail Accessible Services

A woman in a Via Rail wheelchair lift is helped into the train car by Via Rail staff.
Wheelchair lifts are not required at the Montréal and Québec City stations, where the platforms are level with the train doors. All other wheelchair-accessible stations have devices used to lift the wheelchair and/or the passenger from the station platform to the train door. These lifts can safely handle a maximum weight of 272 kg (600 lb.) and mobility aids up to 56 in. (142 cm) long.

To find out what you need to know about the accessibility of VIA trains, consult the following links:

To find out what you need to know about the accessibility of VIA trains, consult the following links:

U.S.A.

U.S.: Amtrak Accessible Services

To make reservations for accessible space on Amtrak, purchase your tickets over the phone or in person at an Amtrak ticket counter.

  • By telephone: Please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245). Agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • By TDD/TTY: Please call 1-800-523-6590. Agents are available from 5 am to 1 am EST, seven days a week.
  • At an Amtrak ticket counter: Ticket agents at staffed stations can sell tickets during regular ticket office hours. Please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) for details.

Up until 14 days before the departure of each train from its origin city, reservations for accessible bedrooms may be made only for passengers who are mobility impaired. After this period, and if all other Deluxe and Family bedrooms have been reserved, accessible bedrooms are made available to all passengers on a first-come, first-served basis. For this reason, you are urged to make your reservations as far in advance of travel as possible. On the Accessible Travel Services page, information about special needs and accessibility is available about:  Updated



Sports and Recreation


  • ATVs:
    • All-Terrain Vehicle Safety by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are among the most popular recreational vehicles in the nation today, but along with popularity comes increased risk and sometimes carelessness.
      • ATV Safety Institute
      • Motorcycle Safety by the U.S. Department of Transportation. (NHTSA). "Born to be wild" may be an anthem for a generation of motorcycles enthusiasts but the accident rates are a sobering reminder that there's more to riding than the romance of the open road.
      • Snowmobiling Safety by the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA). Make sure you get back to the lodge safely.
      • Safe Riders! Snowmobile Safety Awareness Program. This program has been produced through a partnership between the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ACSA), the International Association of Snowmobile Administrators (IASA), and the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) with financial assistance from the Recreational Trails Program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation — Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
  • Accessible Gaming
    • AbleGamers Charity Combating Social Isolation Through Play. Creates opportunities that enable play in order to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Get Help. Give Help.
    • Accessible Gaming Quarterly. Accessible Gaming Quarterly is a zine devoted to accessibility and disability within the tabletop RPG space. Each issue features articles and art by disabled contributors, but the zine isn't only for people with disabilities. It's full of articles designed to bring together disabled and non-disabled gamers alike.
    • The Secret World of Disabled Gamers | MIT Technology Review. By Emerging Technology from the arXivarchive page, July 3, 2018. By some estimates, as many as 2.6 billion people take part in digital gaming, a significant fraction of the global population. There is much ongoing study by games makers and researchers into why and how people play: for fun, for the challenge, to relax, to engage with friends, and so on. And yet one group of people are conspicuous by their absence in this research: people with disabilities. There is growing anecdotal evidence that many disabled people enjoy gaming and are increasingly involved in it. But little is known about who these people are, what games they play, and what challenges they face. And that is a significant barrier to improving access for the disabled.
    • Can I Play That? is a hobby site to a destination for players and developers alike that provides all forms of accessibility information on video games and the industry. Reviews, news stories, and features at CIPT exclusively report on the ever-growing presence and adoption of accessibility features within the gaming industry. Can I Play That? works to share stories that influence game updates, inform disabled players, educate and entertain players and developers, and provide a voice for one of the largest player bases in the industry. They have also developed professional workshops that tackle topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, and accessible community management. These workshops are available for studios to book.
    • The Rise of Accessible Gaming
    • How game-makers are catering to disabled players Hardware and software solutions open gaming to a wider audience than ever. By Meagan Shelley, 8/29/2021, 5:20 PM. (Download the PDF.)
    • The Conversation, It's designers who can make gaming more accessible for people living with disabilities, Published: January 17, 2019 2.13pm EST, By Ben Egliston, PhD candidate in Media and Communications, University of Sydney. (Download the PDF.)
    • Combating Social Isolation Through Play
    • Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) Accessible Gaming. CPF worked with Microsoft to develop the Xbox Adaptive Controller that let's us all play Xbox!
    • "Game accessibility" article by Wikipedia
  • Disability Sports: