RVAAC Subcommittee on Rooms and Spaces - Meeting #4
Conference Call – November 20, 2014 (1 to 3 pm ET)







Controls and Operating Mechanisms

Operable part. A component of a device or system used to insert or withdraw objects, or to activate, deactivate, adjust, or connect to the device or system. Operable parts include, but are not limited to, buttons, levers, knobs, smart card targets, coin and card slots, pull-cords, jacks, data ports, electrical outlets, and touch screens.

Scoping: the technical requirements apply to operable parts at wheelchair and transfer seating locations, restrooms, sleeping compartments, and dining and lounge car seating locations. If operable parts are provided for the public at any seating location, equivalent operable parts shall be provided at wheelchair and transfer seating locations. On intercity (Amtrak) train cars, call buttons to summon train personnel shall be provided at wheelchair and transfer seating locations, within sleeping compartments and within restrooms. In sleeping compartments, controls for all lights and HVAC shall meet the technical requirements.

Technical requirements:


 The height of operable parts shown in elevation to be 610 mm (24 inches) minimum and 1220 mm (48 inches) maximum above the vehicle floor.


Handrails, grab-bars, and stanchions

Technical requirements:

Non-Circular Cross Section

Non-circular cross sections (square with rounded corners (a)  and elliptical (b)) shown with the largest cross section dimension 57 mm (2 ¼ inches) long maximum and a perimeter dimension of 100 to 160 mm (4 to 6 1/4


Handrail shown with a clearance of 38 mm (1 1/2 inches) minimum between gripping surfaces and an adjacent surface.


September 4, 2014

Rooms and Spaces Subcommittee Report:


Scoping: Each new Amtrak car shall have a restroom meeting the technical requirements, except dining and lounge cars where no restroom is provided for the general public. Where restrooms for the public are provided in a car, a restroom meeting the following requirements shall be provided. A car, other than provided by Amtrak, with no public restroom shall not be required to have an accessible restroom. Accessible restrooms shall be in close proximity to seating spaces for persons using wheelchairs and mobility aids and shall be connected to those spaces by an accessible on-board circulation path. In fixed-consist trains, not provided by Amtrak, where a restroom for the public is not provided in a specific car, an accessible restroom shall be permitted to be provided in an adjacent car provided: a) required wheelchair spaces in the car without a restroom are located in the end of the car closest to the connection with the car that has an accessible restroom; b) the accessible restroom is as close as practicable to the connection between cars; c) doors along the path are automatic; and d) the floor surface across the transition is “smooth” (see surface requirements in ABA/ADA Guidelines). Meets the requirements for an accessible on-board circulation path (see Surfaces).

Technical Requirements:

Single–level dining car

Sleeping compartment

Scoping: at least one compartment in each sleeping car shall meet the technical requirements below.

Technical requirements:

Lounge car

Scoping: single-level lounge cars shall comply with the following technical requirements. Bi-level lounge cars shall comply on the lower level. Bi-level lounge cars shall have direct access to station platforms on the lower level. Where vertical access is provided, accessible seating spaces shall also be provided on the upper level. Where a bi-level dining car is provided, an accessible bi-level lounge car shall be directly coupled to it.

Technical requirements:

 (See figure 1)


Sleeping area with turning circle and single bed/sofa.  Outside the sleeping compartment, a car corridor is shown at the top of the drawing running the length of the drawing. Washroom section of sleeper compartment, entered from the vestibule on the right of the drawing and exited into the sleeper on the left.



Fig. 1 Top view A end of VIA sleeper car

Overall dimensions for restroom/shower combined with sleeper compartment
Length VIA: 15’7” Length Amtrak: 9’5”
Width VIA: 8’5” Width Amtrak: 6’9”