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Are Dogs Allowed on AMTRAK? Cheers to More Pawsome Adventures!

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Mary Nielsen

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Are Dogs Allowed on AMTRAK

Making travel arrangements without the inclusion of Fido or Whiskas can be truly disheartening. Although bringing your dog or cat along to pet-friendly hotels and specific U.S. national parks is straightforward when driving, the situation becomes a bit more challenging if your journey doesn't involve a personal vehicle.

If you're considering train travel in the U.S. and wish to ensure the warm welcome of your cherished pet on board, it's crucial to thoroughly review Amtrak's pet policy beforehand.

Are Dogs Allowed on AMTRAK?

Yes, Amtrak does permit pets on their trains; however, akin to air travel, certain restrictions apply.

Pet travel is not universally available across all services, and the total number of animals allowed per train is limited to 5. Therefore, Amtrak strongly advises making pet reservations well in advance of your trip.

According to Amtrak's pet policy, dogs are permitted on Amtrak trains subject to a fee and specific conditions as outlined below:

  • Only one dog is permitted per train journey.
  • The combined weight of the dog and its carrier must not exceed 20 pounds.
  • Dog must be at least eight weeks old, well-behaved, quiet, and clean.
  • Must be up to date on all vaccinations.
  • You are required to sign Amtrak's pet release document during check-in.
  • Dog is restricted to journeys lasting up to seven hours, including connection time between two trains.

Not all trains or specific sections within trains permit the presence of pets, including areas like food service cars. Nevertheless, on trains where pet carriers are allowed, a designated coach car is available to accommodate passengers traveling with their furry companions.

There are specific routes and trains where dogs are not allowed, including Capitol Corridor (between San Jose, CA, and Auburn, CA); Keystone Service (between New York City and Harrisburg, PA); Pennsylvanian (between New York City and Pittsburgh, PA); San Joaquins (between San Francisco Bay Area and Bakersfield, CA); Pacific Surfliner (San Diego to LA); and the Auto Train (between Lorton, VA, and Sanford, FL). Additionally, dogs are prohibited on the Adirondack, Maple Leaf, and Amtrak Cascades routes into Canada. Amtrak's Thruway services also do not permit dogs.

Unlike regular pets, service animals are permitted on all Amtrak trains, routes, and services. Specific guidelines apply when bringing service animals on board Amtrak.

Are Dogs Allowed on AMTRAK? Cheers to More Pawsome Adventures! 1

Can my dog sit beside me on Amtrak?

Your dog is allowed to travel on Amtrak trains, but they must remain in a closed carrier throughout the journey. The carrier should be positioned under your seat, and you must stay in close proximity to ensure the well-being of your pet, never leaving them unattended.

The pet carrier can be either soft-sided or hard-sided but must be leak-proof and provide adequate air circulation. The dimensions of the carrier must not exceed 19 inches in length, 14 inches in width, and 10.5 inches in height.

It's important to note that your pet carrier is considered one piece of carry-on luggage.

Are dogs allowed on sleeper trains?

Your dog or cat is exclusively permitted to travel in Coach Class on standard Amtrak trains and solely in Business Class on Acela trains. Pets are not permitted in private accommodations such as Roomettes or Bedrooms.

The subsequent Amtrak routes feature specially designated Coach cars for pets and their owners:

  • Amtrak Cascades (in Washington and Oregon)
  • Carl Sandburg (between Chicago and Quincy, IL)
  • Illinois Zephyr (between Chicago and Quincy, IL)
  • Illini (between Chicago and Carbondale, IL)
  • Lincoln Service (between Chicago and St. Louis, MO)
  • Saluki (between Chicago and Carbondale, IL)
  • Pere Marquette (between Chicago and Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Wolverine (between Chicago and Pontiac, MI)
  • Blue Water (between Chicago and Port Huron, MI)
  • Hiawatha (between Chicago and Milwaukee, WI)
  • Missouri River Runner (between St. Louis and Kansas City)

What can I do to soothe my dog on a train ride?

If you cannot ensure that your dog (or cat) will remain well-behaved and quiet during your Amtrak train travel, consult your veterinarian well in advance for medication or advice on calming your pet. Test the medication and try the tips before your train trip to ensure your pet responds as needed.

Fees by Route

The cost for bringing your dog or cat on an Amtrak train varies between $29 and $39, depending on the route.

Amtrak routeFee
Acela (Boston – Washington, DC)$39
Adirondack (Albany – New York City)$39
Amtrak Cascades (Seattle – Portland – Eugene)$29
Amtrak Hartford Line/Valley Flyer (New Haven – Springfield – Greenfield)$39
Berkshire Flyer (New York City – Albany – Pittsfield) $39
California Zephyr (Chicago – Denver – Emeryville)$39; $29 between Chicago and Galesburg
Capitol Corridor (Sacramento – San Jose)$29
Capitol Limited (Washington, DC – Cleveland – Chicago)$39
Cardinal (New York City – Cincinnati – Indianapolis – Chicago)$39
Carolinian (New York City – Raleigh – Charlotte)$39; $29 between Rocky Mount and Charlotte
City of New Orleans (Chicago – Memphis – New Orleans)$39; $29 between Chicago and Carbondale
Coast Starlight (Seattle – Portland – Los Angeles)$39; $29 between Seattle and Eugene & San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles
Crescent (New York City – Altanta – New Orleans)$39; $29 between Greensboro and Charlotte
Downeaster (Brunswick – Portland – Boston)$29
Empire Builder (Chicago – Minneapolis – Seattle/Portland)$39; $29 between Chicago and Milwaukee
Empire Service (New York City – Albany – Niagara Falls)$39
Ethan Allen Express (Burlington – Albany – New York City)$39
Heartland Flyer (Oklahoma City – Fort Worth)$29
Hiawatha (Chicago – Milwaukee)$29
Illinois Service (Chicago – Quincy – Carbondale)$29
Keystone Service (New York City – Harrisburg)$39
Lake Shore Limited (New York City/Boston – Albany – Chicago)$39
Lincoln Service (Chicago – St. Louis)$29
Maple Leaf (Niagara Falls – New York City)$39
Michigan Services (Chicago – Grand Rapids – Detroit – Pontiac)$29
Missouri River Runner (St. Louis – Kansas City)$29
Northeast Regional (Boston – Springfield – Washington, DC – Norfolk/Newport News)$39
Pacific Surfliner (San Luis Obispo – Santa Barbara – Los Angeles – San Diego)$29
Palmetto (New York City – Washington, DC – Savannah)$39
Pennsylvanian (Pittsburgh – New York City)$39
Piedmont (Raleigh – Charlotte)$29
Silver Meteor (New York City – Washington, DC – Miami)$39
Silver Star (New York City – Washington, DC – Miami)$39; $29 between Rocky Mount and Cary
Southwest Chief (Chicago – Kansas City – Albuquerque – Los Angeles)$39; $29 between Chicago and Galesburg
Are Dogs Allowed on AMTRAK? Cheers to More Pawsome Adventures! 2

Is it necessary to reserve a spot for my pet on Amtrak?

Making a reservation for your pet is crucial, and it's advised to do so well in advance of your trip, as Amtrak limits the number of pets to five per train.

How to make reservations?

As pet reservations are limited to specific routes and a maximum total travel time of seven hours, including transfer time between trains on multi-segment trips, careful route planning is essential. Once your itinerary is finalized, visit to purchase your tickets. If your chosen route is eligible, the option to add a pet to your reservation will appear on the ticket add-on screen.

Before embarking on your journey, be sure to read and sign a Pet Release and Indemnification Agreement for each leg of travel. Streamlining the travel process is also possible by downloading the Amtrak app, available on iPhone and Google Play, which is useful for checking your train status, locating the station, and displaying your ticket with the added pet travel option for your furry companion.

Is it possible to travel with a 50-pound dog on Amtrak?

It is not allowed. As per Amtrak's pet policy, dogs, along with their carriers, cannot exceed a combined weight of 20 pounds for travel.

Traveling with Support Dogs

Having covered the preparations for a seamless Amtrak journey with your pet, let's delve into the nuances of traveling with service or emotional support dogs. Amtrak acknowledges the crucial role these dogs play in their owners' lives and has established distinct policies to cater to their needs.

To begin, it's essential to discern between service and emotional support dogs. Service dogs undergo training to execute specific tasks for individuals with disabilities, whereas emotional support dogs offer comfort and companionship to individuals with mental health conditions.

Now, let's explore additional details regarding the travel guidelines for service or emotional support dogs on Amtrak:

  1. Service animals can accompany passengers on all Amtrak trains without any additional charges.
  2. Emotional support animals are restricted to specific routes and necessitate documentation from a licensed mental health professional.
  3. Required documentation must be submitted a minimum of 48 hours prior to departure.
  4. Owners of both service and emotional support animals are obligated to follow specific travel guidelines. This includes maintaining control over their animals at all times and ensuring that they do not obstruct aisles or seats.
Are Dogs Allowed on AMTRAK

Pet Friendly Trains in the USA

Service animals with medical certification are permitted to travel on any train within the continental United States.

With the exception of certain small tourist-related trains, there are no interstate-operating trains in the U.S. that allow pets.

In cities such as New Jersey and Boston, many trains permit small pets to ride, requiring them to be leashed or in carriers.

In New York, pets are allowed on most public transportation if they can fit inside a pet carrier.

In Washington D.C., pets are allowed to travel on Metrorail or Metrobus as long as they are securely confined in a carrier. Additionally, service animals are permitted.

Last Words

While Amtrak offers an exciting mode of transportation for passengers, the journey becomes even more memorable when our furry companions are allowed to join in.

Ensuring your dog's well-being during the journey entails maintaining their calmness and comfort throughout the trip. According to Amtrak's pet policy, pets must be leashed or placed in carriers while on board.

Owners should also make certain to bring essential items like food (keep them in secure storage cases), water bowls, waste disposal bags, and any necessary medications.

Understanding the intricacies of Amtrak's pet policy ensures a seamless and enjoyable travel experience, creating lasting moments for both pets and their human counterparts on the rails.

We sure hope that we answered your inquiry about are dogs allowed on Amtrak. Safe travels!

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