Fast wheelchair friendly rail travel - Thalys Express Train, Amsterdam to Paris
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Wheelchair
Amsterdam to Paris in three and a half hours. Wheelchair users and accompanists travel first class and fares are, by British standards, very cheap.
Transport & Parking
We used a wheelchair taxi organised by Accessible Travel Netherlands to get us from the ferry terminal at Ijmuiden to Amsterdam Centraal Station. Drop off is very convenient and that station has lift access to all platforms.
You access the train by ramp. It is important to arrange this (free) assistance at least 24 hours before travelling. The ramp is deployed by trained employees and assistance is available to wheelchair users who cannot self propelled.
The loo is close to the wheelchair space and equipped with a grab rail and alarm button, but is very small. The door opens both outwards and inwards. There wasn't room for our manual wheelchair to remain in the loo with the user, so the accompanist got the user seated and then parked the wheelchair in the corridor. An unaccompanied wheelchair user might find it impossible to use the facility. There isn't enough space for side transfer onto the loo to be possible.
Friendly and helpful both at Amsterdam Centraal Station, on the train and in Paris The stewardess on the train took the trouble to point out the alarm button in the accessible loo, and when no ramp appeared at the Gare du Nord, she phoned through to summon one. The ramp operator was very apologetic about the delay.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Very good on-train catering - a delicious light lunch was brought to us at our seats, followed by hot drinks. All part of the ticket price.