Amtrak is developing plans to improve train travel for people who use wheelchairs and rely on mobility aids.
Amtrak’s proposed “Alternative Design Standards” are aimed at making the train experience more accessible and user-friendly, offering people with disabilities smoother travel.
One element of the new standards is the concept of trainsets, which involve semi-permanent coupling of cars to make moving between the cars and accessing amenities easier, especially for those using wheelchairs.
Passengers using wheelchairs will also get priority access to dining areas and lounges. The number of accessible bedrooms and restrooms will also be increased.
According to the Department of Transportation, airlines “mishandle” on average about 1.5 % of the mobility equipment they transport. In 2022, that translated to 11,389 incidents reported by U.S. airlines, up from 7,239 in 2021.
If adopted the “Alternative Design Standards” would provide a more inclusive and comfortable train travel experience — and is also less damaging to wheelchairs.