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 Lafayette, IN: Amtrack Station Now Wheelchair Accessible

Misc. ArticlesAnonymous writes "Journal and Courier www.jconline.com (Lafayette and West Lafayette , IN )

November 29, 2009

Amtrak station now wheelchair accessible

By CURT SLYDER cslyder@jconline.com

People in wheelchairs wanting to travel by Amtrak trains in Lafayette have for years had to travel to Indianapolis or Chicago to board them.

That's because Indianapolis and Chicago were equipped to handle putting people in wheelchairs on a train. Lafayette wasn't.

Those days are over.

As part of an ongoing federal program to bring all stations into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a new wheelchair lift was installed in Lafayette .

There's also a newly installed wheelchair lift at the station in Rensselaer .

According Amtrak volunteer and assistant Lafayette station manager Joe Krause, the lift is secured to a post when not in use.

"It can roll right up to the train," he said. "A person can be rolled onto the platform, which is raised manually to put them on the train."

"We've been installing them when we can at stations around the country," said Amtrak regional spokesman Marc Magliari. "We've recently been using federal stimulus funds to get more done."

Amtrak has until July 26, 2010, to bring all stations into compliance, Magliari said.

So far, the Lafayette wheelchair lift has been used sparingly, Krause said. "But it's there for anyone who needs it," he said.

"There's spots on the train for wheelchairs. We always put them on last so the wheelchair doesn't get in other passengers' way."

Amtrak has also set aside money to build an enclosure for the lift in Lafayette , Magliari said. But it has yet to be constructed.

Such an enclosure would keep the lift free from rain and snow when it's not in use, preventing potential problems on a slippery lift surface, Krause said.

"We're trying to figure out who would do it," Krause said.

"We're not sure if it would be Lafayette , West Lafayette or Amtrak."

Money for the device, which cost $30,000, was provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the federal stimulus act.

Source: http://www.jconline.com/article/20091129/NEWS/911290350/Amtrak-station-now-wheelchair-accessible

Note: Article By Curt Slyder, Journal and Courier www.jconline.com (Lafayette and West Lafayette , IN )"



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