Better Accessibility for All


Our commitment

Our enhanced universal accessibility features (guided by your feedback) meet and even exceed accessibility requirements, with multiple accommodations for wheelchairs (with more space) and other mobility devices on board. With braille seat numbers, companion seats, at seat emergency call buttons, larger fully accessible washrooms, and onboard mobility device lifts, our new trains will help VIA Rail remain the most accessible mode of transportation.

Our amenities

Specialized equipment and assistance are available to make it easier to enter and move around our stations. In most of our stations, an attendant is available to escort you to the platform, help you get on and off the train, and assist you with your baggage. Services vary from one area to the next.

On board

In addition to the 26 fully accessible LRC cars used in its Corridor services, VIA Rail also improved accessibility of the Western and Eastern Transcontinental Services as well as the adventure routes. All of our trainsets include a car that is wheelchair-accessible and equipped with grab bars in washrooms and narrow wheelchairs to make it easier to move around onboard.

New accessible cabin

On our western and eastern transcontinental services an accessible cabin for two offers all the necessary amenities to accommodate a person with reduced mobility and their companion. Most accessible sleeping cars in North America.

Travelling with a companion

The companion of a passenger with reduced mobility travels free of charge for the duration of the trip.

An accessible reservation process

Our reservation tools are accessible, so anyone can use them. People who are speech impaired, deaf or hard of hearing can communicate with us using a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY).

Concrete actions and projects to improve accessibility

The creation of a new generation of fully accessible train cars

VIA Rail has awarded Bombardier a contract to upgrade 17 stainless steel trains to create a new fully accessible generation of cars. In order to offer a higher level of accessibility, the engineering criteria were determined in accordance with the highest standards of universal accessibility.

Each reconfigured car will be equipped with:

  • two wheelchair lifts;
  • announcement display screens, including in the washrooms;
  • an accessible washroom.
Read the press release Open link in new window

Ottawa station accessibility improvements

The renovation work at the Ottawa station, an investment of 20 million dollars, brought the building up to the universal accessibility standards. An elevated train platform, with a side access ramp, now enables passengers with wheelchairs to board at the door level. In addition, new elevators now makes access to the tunnel and boarding platforms easier.
By the numbers

VIA Rail wants to make your travels as easy, enjoyable and accessible as possible. Here are a few measures we’ve put in place:

$ 162 Million

A large investment to improve accessibility across our assets

  • $ 25 Million on our trains + $ 54 Million for the conversion of 17 cars into fully accessible cars
  • $ 76 Million in our stations
  • $ 95 000 on our reservation system
  • $ 6 Million in free tickets for travel companions
100 % Dedicated

All of our employees on board, in station and in our Customer Centres have been trained to assist people with special needs.

Per Year

VIA Rail receives, on average, 1,100+ special-needs requests per month that are answered with care by our in-station and onboard employees.

100 % Accessible

VIA Rail’s reservation ecosystem includes a fully accessible website and app for easy booking.

$ 156,245 Contributed

A great number of tickets have been donated to reduced-mobility groups through partnerships, event sponsorships, fundraising events and activities in 2017.

Ways To Help

There are 18 different types of special requests that can be accommodated. When passengers inform us of their needs in advance, we ensure that the resources necessary are available in-station and onboard the train.

More info

For more information, visit our Special Needs section Open link in new window or contact us at 1 888 VIA RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or  TTY 1 800 268 9503 (hearing-impaired).