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.
Canada: VIA Rail Accessible Services
Do the stations have wheelchair access? Can you bring a guide dog or get around in the trains by wheelchair? To find out what you need to know about the accessibility of VIA trains, consult the following links:
- In order to travel with VIA, passengers must be able to attend to their personal needs (eating, medical, personal hygiene) throughout the trip. If you are not able to do so, you must be accompanied by an escort. VIA will be pleased to carry your escort in the same class free of charge.
- Reduced Mobility information about booking, traveling with a companion, wheelchairs, electrical scooters, sleeping cars, meal service.
- Special Needs accessibility, adapted services, unaccompanied minors, occupy two seats.
- Accessibility Priority boarding and additional assistance
Crossing the Border New
Accessible Travel in Canada
- Take Charge of Your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities by the Canadian Transportation Agency New
- 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.
- Canadian Transportation Agency Accessibility New
- Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations: SOR/2019-244 passed 22 June 2019. New
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
- Oxygen bottles
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:
- Making Reservations for Accessible Space
- What to Expect at the Station
- Oxygen Equipment
- Service Animals
- Thruway Motorcoach Service and Accessibility
- Meal Service for Disabled Customers