Using Amtrak you can take the train to travel in between New York City and Montreal, Canada, which takes approximately eleven hours. The Amtrak Adirondack Train Route is one of the most scenic train rides in the world, especially in the fall, which makes the time go by a little faster.
Some disabled passengers may be able to receive a discounted train ticket, see this page for details. Passengers can make an accessible reservation online, over the phone or in person at the station. When making a reservation online, be sure you select “Passenger with Disability (PWD)” using the dropdown menu in the first step (see photo). Following this step you will have to provide a little more detail about your disability, like do you use a power wheelchair? (See photo.)
You will also be asked if you need assistance, in any case, it is recommended you select “yes” to get the most accessible service including a ramp* access. If there are any additional concerns or special needs then it is best to call Amtrak so your reservation can be properly noted to serve you best. When you reservation is complete your confirmation should have your disability noted like this: Special Assistance: Personal device – manual wheelchair.
Seating and Bathrooms
Wheelchair accessible seating is offered. Passengers may transfer out of their wheelchair and store it nearby or stay seated in the wheelchair for the trip. If you choose to stay in your wheelchair, tie-downs are provided to lock the wheelchair in place but no lap belt. Those with wheelchairs or a limited mobility will have the ability to board before the general public to give more time to get setup and situated. This is another reason to arrive early.
Even if you don’t want to stay seated in your wheelchair, it’s best to say so to get the closest access to the accessible bathroom on the train. Wheelchairs cannot fit down the aisle. Unless you have a leg-bag or some other arrangement, you are going to need to use the bathroom at some point on an eleven hour-long train ride.
Wheelchair Specifications: Amtrak trains accommodate most wheeled mobility devices in use today. The device should not exceed the dimensions of 30 inches (76 cm) wide and 48 inches (122 cm) long, and should have a minimum of 2 inches (5 cm) of ground clearance. The weight limit for an occupied wheeled mobility device is 600 lbs (273 kg). Amtrak permits both manually operated and battery powered wheeled mobility devices that meet these specifications.
- Pull-out table at seat
- Seats recline
- Air conditioned
- Reading light
- Power outlet sockets
- For-purchase food and drinks (full bar) at the snack bar (not accessible) and food carts (limited selection and appearances, so if you see a chart purchase some food/water whether you are hungry or not or plan ahead and bring stuff).
No matter where you are traveling to with Amtrak, passengers with disabilities need to arrive at least one hour before departure. This is important. Check in at the gate desk to get your pre-board pass. See here for more info about accessibility at stations. Some stations have seating areas dedicated for pre-boarders.
- Handicap drop-off area directly in front of main doors.
- Automatic, push-button doors.
- One main floor with cafes, a few souvenir-type shops and accessible bathrooms.
- Accessible Amtrak ticket counter and pre-boarding passenger seating/waiting area.
- Wheelchair lift that takes passengers to the ground floor where the train platform is located; Amtrak employee assists throughout entire process.
NYC Penn Station
- Curbside drop-off.
- Accessible Penn Station Entrances are 31st St. and 7th Ave, 32nd St. and 7th Ave, and for the LIRR 34th Street, just west of 7th Ave.
- Some of the main doors at Penn Station open automatically, but once you are inside others door are not.
- Signage for wheelchair accessible routes, bathrooms and elevators, etc. and info online about elevator working status. The most accessible entrances are right by some of these elevators.
- Assistance to ticket machines is possible during business hours.
- Lots of grab-and-go food vendors and small shops. Accessible bathrooms available.
- No ramp service to get on and off train! In the Accessible Guide Book endorsed by Michael R. Bloomberg says: at most stations there is a gap between the platform edge and the subway car; on curved platforms the space is more significant. Be extra careful when crossing these gaps. (The vertical gap on accessible subway station platforms is lower toward the center of the platform, near the conductor’s position.)
- For accessibility assistance at Penn Station call 212-630-6401.
*Both stations on this route are accessible. If one is not then you will be notified to call when you are making the reservation. Stations that are not staffed cannot provide loading and unloading services (ramp access) and you will be notified to call in.