I struck out with Amtrak’s Empire Builder

Q: I can’t get a refund from Amtrak for its totally inappropriate ”handicapped” room on the Empire Builder from Chicago to Glacier National Park.


The room was not safe; there was no room for a wheelchair, no grab bars, and there were no safety bars on the toilet. There was no room for two people to sit and eat at the same time, and since my husband and I were downstairs and far from the dining car, this is where we had to have all meals.

Also, there were sharp metal protrusions that injured both my husband and me.

After almost three months, the only offer I got was a voucher on a future trip. This was after emails to the CEO, chief operating officer and my travel agent.

I would like at least a 50 percent refund. I can’t travel on Amtrak again because the room was not safe or comfortable for my disabled husband. I would even accept a $500 check, but not a voucher for travel that I can’t use.

A: I’m sorry about your unhappy experience on Amtrak. The Empire Builder is a 46-hour train ride through some of the most beautiful parts of the American West. In Amtrak’s promotional material, it invites you to ”experience the rugged splendor of the American West” by traveling along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail and following the footsteps of early pioneers.

OK, I have to admit, this one’s on my bucket list.

Alas, there’s no mention of handicapped facilities (or lack thereof) on Amtrak’s site. A little research will reveal that Amtrak offers something called a Superliner Accessible Bedroom, a lower-level…

click here to read more.

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