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Canada Disability Travel Using Via Rail Trains

  • Published: 2008-12-27 (Revised/Updated 2016-06-12) : Author: Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Travel tips for sight and hearing impaired persons when traveling aboard Via Rail trains in Canada.

Seniors and passengers with reduced mobility will receive special attention from Via Rail personnel.

Passengers who need assistance in attending to their personal needs (eating, medical care, personal hygiene) during their trip must travel with an escort capable of providing such assistance. The escort travels free in the same class of service.

Where necessary, the escort is expected to assist VIA personnel in boarding and disembarking the passenger and in helping the passenger move about while on board.

All VIA trains are accessible to travelers in wheelchairs and are equipped with wheelchair tie-downs, narrow wheelchairs, tools to reduce the width of certain manual wheelchairs, and grab bars in washrooms. Stretchers and electrical scooters for travelers with reduced mobility will be transported free of charge in the baggage car regardless of whether or not the owner travels aboard the same train.

Hearing or speech-impaired Via Rail passengers

Hearing or speech-impaired passengers can connect a personal teleprinter or Bell's Visual Ear to VIA Rail's computerized system in order to exchange messages with our reservation or information service.

Via Rail suggest that you identify yourself to VIA personnel once you arrive at the station and as soon as you get on board. If you are speech-impaired, please bring written instructions to inform station and on-board personnel of your itineraries, connections and needs. Via Rail employees may then keep you informed of any schedule changes as well as notify you when you arrive at your destination.

For visually impaired Via Rail passengers and guide dogs

In most locations Via Rail Canada have personnel and staff that can escort you to the platform, assist you in boarding and disembarking from the train, and help with loading and unloading your baggage. You can benefit from priority boarding five minutes before regular boarding commences.

Once you are on board, Via Rail will be pleased to give you information on our menus and services. They can notify you of any schedule changes as well as your arrival at the destination. To benefit from these services, we suggest that you identify yourself to VIA personnel once you arrive at the station and as soon as you get on board.

Your guide dog always travels free

And to make sure both you and your animal are comfortable, Via Rail will provide you with a second seat free of charge in Comfort (economy) and VIA 1 class. On certain departures you may also occupy a double bedroom at a reduced fare. Your guide dog must wear a special harness with a "U" shaped handle at all times. Via Rail asks that you tell them in advance if you wish to travel with a service animal.

If you are a service animal trainer, Via Rail Canada ask that you provide them with proof of your occupation. Once this condition has been satisfied, you may bring free of charge one service animal on board the train with you. In both Comfort class (economy) and VIA 1 class, you will get a second seat free of charge so that both you and your animal are assured of maximum comfort. On certain departures you may also occupy a double bedroom at a reduced fare.

In order for Via Rail to make any necessary train travel arrangements to provide you with the services to which you are entitled, please inform Via Rail of your needs at least 48 hours before your departure and give us all the relevant information.

Canadian Via Rail recommends that you find out about more the services available by contacting Via Rail sales agents, by telephone or at one of their ticket counters.

If you are hearing or speech-impaired, contact Canadian Via Rail by teletypewriter (TTY) at 1 800 268-9503 (toll-free). Toronto call (416) 368-6406

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