Special Needs & Accessibility
The moment you come on board Amtrak® the journey begins. With more ways to relax on your journey, including plenty of legroom, spectacular views, and a unique dining experience, your state of mind will transform just like the land you’re passing through.
Special Needs and Accessibility
Making Reservations for Accessible Space
How to Make Reservations
Presently, we do not offer the ability to reserve accessible space on Amtrakvacations.com. Instead, please make reservations for accessible accommodations by telephone at 1-800-AMTRAK-2.
Our Commitment to Providing Accessible Facilities
Most Amtrak stations in major cities, and many other staffed stations across the country, are accessible to passengers with disabilities.
How do I know if a particular Amtrak station is accessible?
Make a specific request:
- The best way to make sure that you receive the assistance you require at a station is to specifically request assistance when you make your reservation.
- Plan for extra time:
- To ensure adequate time for assistance, please arrive at the station at least one hour prior to the train departure time. There may be a short wait if there are a large number of passengers who need assistance, or if staff is limited.
At stations staffed by Amtrak employees, our personnel will be happy to provide assistance to and from the restrooms or help with stairs. Courtesy wheelchairs and wheelchair lifts are available at most of our staffed stations, and our larger stations have a customer service office to ensure that you receive the assistance you require.
Traveling with an Attendant
Amtrak does not require that an attendant accompany a qualified individual with a disability. However, if a passenger anticipates that he or she may need personal care assistance during the trip, such as assistance with feeding, bathing, dressing, medicating or toileting, the passenger must travel with an attendant who can provide such assistance.
Please note that Amtrak train crews are not required or permitted to provide personal care assistance to passengers. Please take this into account when making your travel plans. If it becomes apparent during a trip that an unaccompanied passenger requires such assistance, the passenger may have to detrain prior to his or her final destination.
Boarding and Detraining
We can provide assistance to people in wheelchairs in the following situations, if needed:
- High Platforms:
- Amtrak will assist you across the gap between the platform and the train by using a bridge plate.
- Low-Level Platforms:
- Amtrak will provide a level boarding through the use of station-board lifts.
- Bi-Level Trains:
- Amtrak will provide a wheelchair ramp to help you board the lower level of the train.
Remaining in Your Wheelchair or Transferring to a Seat
If you use a common wheelchair, including a battery-operated chair, you may remain in your wheelchair en route. When wheelchair lockdowns are not available, we request that you apply your wheelchair brakes. Many First Class and Business Class cars also have accessible seating. If you choose to transfer to an accessible seat, you may stow your wheelchair nearby.
Amtrak trains accommodate most wheelchairs in use today, provided they meet the ADA definition of a "common" wheelchair. Please note:
- The chair should not exceed 30 inches (76 centimeters) wide, 48 inches (122 centimeters) long and 2 inches (5 centimeters) of ground clearance.
- The weight limit for an occupied wheelchair is 600 pounds (273 kilograms).
- Manual and battery powered:
- We permit both manually operated and battery powered wheelchairs that meet the above limits.
Meal Service for Customers with Disabilities
On all trains with meal service, we are pleased to provide meal service to customers with disabilities.
In-room or at-seat: You may order from our menu and have your meal served to you in your room or at your seat.
- Lounge Car:
- If you so choose, and when possible, we will also serve you in the Lounge Car. On some long-distance trains, customers in wheelchairs may transfer to and from the Lounge Car at appropriate station stops. Please ask your onboard service attendant to make the necessary arrangements. If you are traveling in a sleeping accommodation, your meals are provided as part of the cost of your travel.
Thruway Motorcoach Service and Accessibility
Amtrak provides accessible thruway motorcoach (bus) service on some routes. When disruptions to train service occur, we will arrange for and provide alternative accessible accommodations via motorcoach or other means of transportation.