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Napa Wine Train + disabilities

Pasadena, CA
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317 posts
21 reviews
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Napa Wine Train + disabilities

We're taking our amazing Auntie Mame from NYC to Napa in May and I'd planned to take her on the wine train for lunch which is on her bucket list. She uses a walker and when I spoke with the wine train people last month they said they have a lift so boarding the train is no problem. Our hotel concierge called today to make a rez and now they're saying they are not using the car with the lift and there are stairs which would be very difficult for her to maneuver.

That seems off to me as wouldn't a lot of elderly people take this train? Does anyone have experience with the stairs? My sense is stairs to board a train are pretty vertical.

She really wants to do this so any advice would be appreciated.

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Napa
Napa
Napa Valley, CA
Santa Clara...
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23,358 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: Napa Wine Train + disabilities

Did you see this already?

Photo of the stairs in the middle of the page via link out.

http://winetrain.com/about/accessibility

Can someone help her transfer and up the stairs by supporting her arms? If you have time, you can ask her doctor for a referral to physical therapy so you or whomever will be helping her can learn to do this safely for her and the helper.

Good luck.

Edited: 16 April 2014, 05:01
San Francisco
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36,629 posts
26 reviews
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2. Re: Napa Wine Train + disabilities

Why ask us? You're local -- call the Wine Train directly. There's no reason to leave this special need to your concierge.

These are old, historic train cars so accessibility has been done as best as possible. San Francisco cable cars are not accessible either because of their age and historic designation.

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San Francisco
San Francisco
California
San Francisco, Ca
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19,069 posts
76 reviews
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3. Re: Napa Wine Train + disabilities

They normally have a lifter to raise people in walkers/wheelchairs to the level of their car. (I know, as we did this with my dad a few years ago.) So when you first called, they gave you their normal info. But it sounds like something has changed, and that lifter is no longer available? It's weird they said "the car with the lift" isn't available, as it was a separate commercial lift, not part of the train car. (This is shown when you click on the link above.)

I'd call and speak with someone else, maybe a manager. I'm finding employees don't always understand unusual situations or have all the info needed.

For my dad, they seated us in the dining car for the whole trip, as he wouldn't have been able to move around on board. And during the stop in Yountville, the chef helped him walk to the restroom on board -- Dad was giving us a bit of a fight about whether or not he needed help, and the chef stepped in and Dad just went along with him without a word!

It was one of his last excursions, and it was really a special day -- they were very thoughtful in their handling of his situation. Hopefully you'll have a special day with Auntie Mame, too (please tell me that's really her name!!)

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Yountville
Yountville
Napa Valley, CA
Napa, CA
Destination Expert
for Napa
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8,012 posts
21 reviews
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4. Re: Napa Wine Train + disabilities

You will get your best answers by contacting the Wine Train directly. No one here can help you.

Pasadena, CA
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317 posts
21 reviews
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5. Re: Napa Wine Train + disabilities

This is fantastic and I didn't see this on the site. Thank you so much. I agree that that lift seems mobile and not part of a car so am not sure why it's not available. That photo is also so help. The stairs are one thing but the gap between track and stairs would be too scary for her even with our help. Really appreciate it.

Pasadena, CA
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317 posts
21 reviews
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6. Re: Napa Wine Train + disabilities

I decided to ask experienced riders so I'd be armed with this information when I circled back with the wine train staff and it's been so helpful.

Pasadena, CA
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317 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: Napa Wine Train + disabilities

Thanks so much for all your advice and no, my aunt's name isn't Mame but she has that indomitable spirit! Now I can call them armed with your personal experience which is so helpful. I'd hoped to be in the Vista Dome Car but can see that has internal stairs so hopefully they can hook us up with the lift and the Gourmet Car will be possible.

And yes, my aunt too is so independent and won't let us help her but when a stranger does, it's okay. And then we look like heels!

8. Re: Napa Wine Train + disabilities

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