I was on the CZ last week, in the SSL. Despite all of the warnings for parents to hold the hands of their children when they move about the train a toddler was running loose in the SSL.
Next thing I know, whoosh the child goes disappearing down the staircase with a loud scream to follow. By some miracle the little guy seemed to be unhurt other than having the heck scared out of him. The poor kid was just crying like crazy when mom put him on her shoulder to take him away. . Really breaks your heart when you see that happen to a little one.
This kind of accident happens a lot at home with much more horrible results. That is why a lot of parents install gates at the top and sometimes bottom of stairs to keep accidents from happening.
I can see for an unaware adult and a lurch of the car at the wrong time can send them tumbling down the stairs. Has Amtrak ever looked at gates for the stairs? Maybe they have but decided that the fix is worse than the actual problem. I could see where a gate on stairs could be a problem. Problems with people not securing the gate and the gate getting in the way for loading and unloading.
Have they at least looked at handrails through the cars? Seems to be none except for the stairs. Maybe they would just be another place to bump yiu head, But they seem to work on commuter trains an buses? Maybe it is just a simple space issue on the train?
In the meantime I would hope that folks follow the same rules us sailors try to follow. One hand for the boat the other for you. Meaning hold on at all time while doing work on the boat. In the case of the parent's. One hand for you to hold on. The other for the kiddies.