I’ve visited a wide variety of rail attractions over the past 20 years on my accessible travel beat, and I have to say that the folks at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (www.YMSPRR.com) really wowed me the other day. Continue reading
Access is looking up these days in Vietnam, as the powers that be in Ho Chi Minh City have announced that the new metro and monorail systems will be wheelchair-accessible. The last time I visited the city, access was extremely lacking, so I’m happy to hear of any move in a positive direction. Continue reading
Although many train systems in the US can accommodate scooters, that’s not the case overseas, especially on UK regional trains. Scooter-user Diane Holyoake found that out the hard way last week when she was denied boarded on her First Capital Connect train from Croydon to London. Continue reading
With the Paralympic Games just around the corner, Whistler is putting the finishing touches on their access upgrades, and Vancouver is bracing for an influx of disabled visitors. And the province of British Columbia is looking for a few good Paralympic torchbearers — 200 to be exact. If you live in Canada and are at least 13 years old, it could be you. Continue reading
There’s good news in the air about accessible rail travel in Canada. VIA Rail just announced that they’re going to add some access upgrades to their historic stainless steel rail cars. And according to VIA Rail sources, these upgrades will substantially increase the train’s accessibility for disabled passengers. Continue reading
If a train trip through Scotland is in your future, then it’s best to be aware of Scotrail’s size limitations for assistive devices, especially if you are a scooter-user.
Just ask John Dunsmore, a scooter-user who was recently denied passage because his Mayfair Freerider scooter was five centimeters too long. That’s less than 2 inches. Continue reading
Charles and I are on the road again; this time on a three week trip of the Western states, culminating in Oklahoma City. We’re basically spending our time finding accessible options in the national and state parks, tourism sites and lodgings along the way. We’ll check out a couple of larger cities too, and of course we also have a number of B&Bs on our itinerary. To date, it’s been a very productive trip, and I look forward to more of the same in the next few weeks. Continue reading
One of the advantages to blogging on the road is that I get immediate feedback from my readers, and sometimes that feedback directs me to cool accessible finds. Such was the case last week when Darryl read my blog and noticed I was near PA Amish country; and he quickly directed me to the Strasburg Railroad.
And I have to say, Darryl was spot-on with his recommendation!
Located just 15 miles southeast of Lancaster in the heart of Amish Country, the Strasburg station features accessible parking, level access to the platform, ramped access to most of the shops and an accessible restroom. The 45-minute trip takes you through scenic Amish country and for an extra $5 you can enjoy lunch along the way.
As far as access goes, there is a portable lift at the station that can be used on any of the cars; however access varies depending on the car. Most of the cars have narrow doorways, and wheelchair-users must walk and transfer to a seat in these cars. They can leave their wheelchair at the station and pick it up when they return. Folks who cannot transfer should make reservations in the baggage car, which has wider doorways, so wheelers can stay in their own wheelchair for the duration of the trip.
Advance reservations are highly recommended during the busy summer and fall seasons, and the ticket agents are very well versed in the access features of the railway. So if you?re in the area, give the Strasburg Railroad a try — it?s affordable and accessible.
And if you?re just passing through Strasburg and want some rib-sticking Amish food, try the Good & Plenty restaurant. There?s lots of accessible parking in front and level access to the front door. The food is served family style, and like the name suggests, it just keeps on coming. It was the perfect place to stop before we hopped on the airplane home. After a beer in the terminal I slept for most of the flight! Now that?s the way I like to travel!
Great news on the accessible rail travel front – Canada’s Via Rail just got nearly $700 million in funding to upgrade their services at Toronto’s Union Station. This is huge news in Canada as it’s the first significant injection of new money in years for cash-strapped Via Rail. Continue reading