Reply To: US Trains

  • schroth-sensei

    April 19, 2022 at 6:13 am

    Hello again Maria,

    I haven’t personally used the trains in the US, though not for lack of willingness. Amtrak is probably the biggest train company in the US, so as you’ve seen choices here are limited (I did find this accessibility info on the Amtrak Vacations page if you or anyone else wanted more info: I don’t mean this to sound like a downer, but usually the trains don’t have a nearby station or just don’t go to all the places you may want to visit, and if they get close you usually still need a car/van to get around (I’m always saying we need more trains here). This means renting a car/van is usually the best way to get around, but extensive trips can take a lot of time up just driving (e.g. when I was a kid, my parents drove us from Idaho to Florida to visit family, just the time traveling took us 4-days 1-way). If you mix in domestic flights you can get across the states quicker, but between being at the airport extra early, ensuring you have accessible transportation and hotels on each end, it can a pain to plan everything and get very tiresome.

    For anyone who wants to do some extensive traveling in many parts of the US, I have to recommend renting a car/van (and bringing a driver if you don’t drive). Typically it should be cheaper then using a taxi/uber to go everywhere. Using an accessible van with a low undercarriage (which is what we use), you will have to avoid/detour around some roads (i.e. in mountainous areas), but this is an uncommon occurrence that typically doesn’t hinder us from getting to most locations. It can be an issue getting an accessible rental van, but not impossible. Big car rental companies usually have a few (call well in advance though), but there are other specialty companies too. Enterprise actually recommends going to Wheelchair Getaways ( to find one, which is a pretty good resource for many states. I believe you were looking in Raleigh, NC area, I found a company called Van Products Mobility ( that can do long term rentals that may work for you, if you decide to take the rental route. Just keep in mind to read the fine print, mileage can add up quick, and in-turn, mileage fee’s if you go well over any limit they may have. Also, if you have the choice, get a side-entry accessible van, otherwise due to parking spots a rear entry van may require you to load in/out onto the roadway which isn’t recommended for safety.

    I wish I had better news about US trains for you, personally I fell in love with how convenient the trains in Japan are for me and my wheelchair and would love to see that here. But alas, Americans do love there cars and the open roads.

    I hope that has helped some,


    Note: I haven’t personally used, nor am I affiliated with any of the above mentioned companies and/or websites. Please use your own judgment when purchasing any goods/services with any company, it is highly recommended to check reliability/honesty of such companies via the Better Business Bureau and other reviewing establishments prior to conducting and business.

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