Pet Travel on US trains: Amtrak pet policy to change?

Presently, pets are not permitted to travel on Amtrak trains unless they are medically certified service animals. But that may change if a Federal bill just introduced in the house moves forward.

H.R. 2066, the Pets on Trains Act of 2013, introduced by U.S. Reps. Jeff Denham, (R-CA) and Steve Cohen, (D-TN), would require Amtrak, the national rail operator, to implement a pet policy to allow passengers to travel with domesticated cats and dogs on certain trains. Should the bill pass, there would be fees involved as well as a mileage limit. Additionally, pets would have to travel in carriers or crates.

Amtrak always defended its pet policy by citing that it was an interstate service in the US and it would be complicated to adhere to differing state legislation. However, Federal legislation may change all that. Hopefully, it will get some support. Pets can travel in trains commonly in Europe (not Eurostar, however). Why can we not change this pet policy and provide this service in the US as well?


Pet Travel on US trains: Amtrak pet policy to change? — 13 Comments

  1. Theresa – Amtrak gets Federal funding, so they can be encouraged to adopt a pet friendly policy.

  2. They have no financial incentive due to the tax payer funding in the form of subsidies.

  3. Amtrak launched a program on a route in Illinois to carry small dogs in the passenger cars, but they have yet to issue a public statement. This business has historically dodged the question of allowing pets because they travel through different states each of which have different rules. In our opinion, this issue could easily be addressed through health and vaccination requirements established by Amtrak, but it has not done so to this date. With the popularity of flying, public pressure has not been as prominent.

  4. I take the car train from Virginia to Florida. It would be very convenient to take my two small dogs in the bedroom. Has this been considered?

  5. I’m anticipating a potential 1,000-mile round trip within one state to bring a new puppy home. Applying Amtrak’s pet policy to me seems arbitrary, if not capricious.
    How far better it would be to take the pup on an air-conditioned train in a pet carrier than to drive half a thousand miles with him through hellhole heat.
    I’d buy an extra fare for the pup!

  6. If you are posting from the US, we would love to see any animals allowed on trains. Amtrak claims it is because they are inter-State, but it is most likely due to other factors. What they are missing is that it would be a revenue generator for them. Certainly has been for the airlines. Thanks for voicing your opinion.

  7. I would love to be able to travel with my ferrets on the train. I have 4 ferrets that travel 2 to a carrier.
    Delta air will allow them, but have had so many problems with them, that I refuse to fly with them, and would NEVER trust them with my babies.
    I would love to have the option to take them along on the train. It’s very difficult to find a way to travel with them, because they are “exotic,” which is hilarious to me, since they’ve been domesticated longer than cats, and are incredibly common pets in the US.

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  9. I do not understand why they would keep this policy for so long. For some of us it is easier to travel by train. Like myself, I live in Hampton, VA and my parents live in DC and I like the idea of being able to hop on the train and ride into DC for the weekend without having to deal with loading the car and dealing with 95 traffic. But I cant because I can’t take my babies on the train with me. I don’t have kids and these two little dogs (who don’t even weigh 10 pounds combined) are my kids and I don’t go anywhere without them (except work and the grocery store). Amtrak please change your policy think about the numerous amounts of traveler you would open your service to all because now they can bring their dogs.

  10. Would you like it if you could not travel with your child? Well, this is not different, if you love your pet you can love it as you would love your child.

  11. these are our family members and like our children to us . please pass this bill. Amtrack find it in your heart even if it is your heart of make the money and we will pay anything to keep our family with us. thank you in advanced.

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