Parking and curbs are wheelchair accessible with reasonable distances to the station and ticket counter. Like most counters, though, it is high and difficult to see the agent and pass documents from a seated position. Security glass makes this all the more difficult. In this busy station, it is unlikely the ticket agent will leave the booth. Tickets can be purchased in advance online, but most fares are not refundable!
It is important to note that you need to purchase an ADA ticket in order to be allowed on the accessible level of the train. This may require presenting your parking placard (despite the fact you have it on your parked car) or ID. Everyone else MUST go upstairs! The cafe car is likewise upstairs, so plan accordingly. A conductor can help you get a meal, but it will take some time.
Getting to the Train
There is a long bench reserved for disabled access. However, the tracks are not at all close to the ticketing area. If you have good endurance, you can make it down and back up the LONG and STEEP ramps, but anyone with motor fatigue or difficulty on hills will not be able to get to the tracks independently. If you are slow, you have to plan a LOT of extra time to get to the train.
Amtrak does provide a “shuttle” service to get passengers to the train, which is basically just a large golf cart or “gator.” It suffices for those who are able to self-transfer and walk short distances, but becomes more complicated with a wheelchair. This is poorly organized and the ticket counter attendants seem to have little communication with the conductors. Your train will be flashing “BOARDING” and no one seems to know when the next “shuttle” will get you to the train. Once arrived, we were taken directly to our train.
Boarding the Train
The trains are not level with the platform and there is always some kind of gap, so assistance with boarding is a must for wheelchairs. I am able to do it independently with my walker, but luggage is more difficult.
Ask a conductor for assistance getting off the train BEFORE reaching the station. I was not aware of the “shuttle” when I arrived and did not get any assistance with the ramps. Thankfully, I wasn’t in a rush and did not have a connection to make. By the time an Amtrak employee saw me struggling up the ramp, I was nearly at the station. You will want to plan ahead so you will have the assistance you need.
Accommodation near the Station
There is a hotel effectively across the street from the train station, the Vagabond Inn. It provides a shuttle to the airport and can be a convenient way to transition between the train and the airport. It is a bit old and noisy, but is close to Old Sac and the staff were friendly and helpful. It does have an elevator, so upper floors are accessible. A pool and hot tub are also accessible.