At Canada Rail Vacations it is important to us for everyone to experience the excitement of train travel. While we understand that it can be difficult to travel with mobility restrictions, we do our best to ensure that all of our guests can have their dream vacations.

We find that guests with reduced mobility tend to be more comfortable on our one-way tours, rather than a circle or trans-Canada tour, as these require fewer transfers. However, we are more than happy to plan something more involved if that is your preference. All of the hotels we partner with across the country offer accessible hotel rooms with roll-in showers, which can be requested when booking. We also recommend booking well in advance to guarantee availability.

Onboard both the Rocky Mountaineer and VIA Rail, they do their best to accommodate mobility restrictions, although they are limited by the dimensions of the trains themselves. Below you will find information on the restrictions for each train.

VIA Rail Accessibility 

All of the trains with VIA Rail are wheelchair accessible, and narrow wheelchairs are available for boarding, detraining, and accessing the washroom. Once onboard, passengers will not be able to move through the aisles freely unless they are able to do so with a walker, due to the width of the corridors. Washrooms are equipped with grab bars, and guests who are unable to make their way to the dining car or snack counters can have their meals served at their seats or in their cabins. Alternatively, you can request a room closer to the dining car.

Parts of the trip that are fully accessible consist of boarding and deboarding via a wheelchair lift, moving from the train vestibule to the mobility aid space or accessible cabin, entering and exiting the washroom, accessing the toilet and vanity, and turning and exiting via the train vestibule.

There are a limited number of Park cars on “The Canadian” between Vancouver and Toronto, which include the fully accessible cabins, so you will want to book in advance to ensure availability. Let us know when booking if this is required.

On “The Ocean”, between Montreal and Halifax, the rooms are accessible, however, they are a little on the smaller side. If you are using your own mobility aid, the dimensions must be within VIA Rail’s guidelines to safely access the accessible cars, which are as follows:

– Manual wheelchairs: 42”/107 cm by 25”/63.5 cm
– Power wheelchairs: 40”/102 cm by 24”/61 cm
– 3-wheeled scooters: 42”/107 cm by 21”/53 cm
– 4-wheeled scooters: 43”/109 cm by 50.5”/128 cm

Please note that on “The Corridor”, between Toronto and Quebec City, you will need to transfer to a manual or power wheelchair in order to access the washroom.

Prior to boarding, VIA Rail stations that do not have platforms level with the train doors have lifts that are available for use. These lifts can safely handle a maximum weight of 600 lbs., and a length of 56 inches. Any station that requires stairs to descend to the boarding platform will have an inclined stair lift, which has the same safety limits as the lifts used to board the train.

 

Rocky Mountaineer Accessibility

Rocky Mountaineer Train

Rocky Mountaineer trains are all wheelchair accessible and at the stations, they will do their best to take you as close to the train as possible using a transfer motorcoach. For stations where this is not possible, the staff is able to assist you with a wheelchair on the platform. After guests have boarded, the wheelchair is transported separately to each destination and will be ready for when you arrive. Wheelchairs and scooters will need to fold down into pieces of 50 lbs. or less for transportation.

If you are able to transfer from a wheelchair into a regular seat Rocky Mountaineer will be able to use a lift to help you board the train and can assist you in getting to your seat. Wheelchairs need to be 23 inches in width or less to fit through the doorway, and 15 inches wide to be able to easily move down the aisles. If your mobility aid is wider than these measurements Rocky Mountaineer has wheelchairs that they can provide to you for your time onboard the train. For embarkation and disembarkation, there is a hydraulic lift or ramp, and you will be assigned to a rail car with an ADA Washroom that is equipped with wider doorways and grab bars.

If you are in GoldLeaf Service, you will be able to use Rocky Mountaineer’s wheelchair to transfer from your seat to the dining room or washroom. There is an elevator available to get to both the washroom and dining car. They are able to accommodate guests who are able to transfer from a wheelchair in all service levels.

Rocky Mountaineer is only able to accommodate full-time wheelchair users in SilverLeaf Service, as these cars have tie-downs. There are a limited number of coaches with this tie-down feature, so this could restrict the travel dates available to you. Your meals will be served to you at your seat, along with the other SilverLeaf Service guests. When requesting a quote please let us know if this is needed.

Hydraulic lifts are not available on their motorcoach transfers to and from the hotels, so booking private transfers is recommended for full-time wheelchair users. This will not be an issue if you are able to transfer seats and climb a few stairs.

You can also request accessible rooms for your night in Kamloops, Whistler, or Quesnel, which can be equipped with grab bars, shower stools, or roll-in showers if required. When booking you will need to complete the Mobility Requirements Form, and Rocky Mountaineer will need a minimum of 60 days prior to travel to be able to accommodate requests. We recommend booking far in advance in order to secure the necessary availability.

 

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