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November 18, 1999

Wheelchair Lifts Make Train Travel More Accessible To Persons With Disabilities

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that wheelchair lifts have recently been installed at 11 unstaffed Amtrak train stations across the state in an effort to make intercity train travel more accessible to persons with disabilities. The lifts were funded through a $120,000 state grant to Amtrak.

"Making these lifts available in smaller communities throughout the state expands travel opportunities for individuals who have difficulty getting on a train and allows them to be more independent," Ryan said.

The 11 stations and their rail passenger routes are:

  • Chicago to Quincy Route - Macomb, Mendota, Princeton and Quincy.

  • Chicago to St. Louis Route - Carlinville, Dwight, Lincoln, and Pontiac.

  • Chicago to Carbondale Route - Effingham, Homewood, and Kankakee.

The mechanical lifts are stored in enclosures that were installed by Amtrak or the community where the station is located. Individuals needing assistance should request use of the lifts when making train reservations. Amtrak conductors then set up the lifts.Amtrak previously could accommodate persons with disabilities only where station agents were available to operate lifts.


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