Amtrak is the United State’s national railroad system. The service links 46 states and 3 Canadian provinces. So, do Amtrak trains allow dogs onboard? The answer is yes, but there are several conditions for travel. I’ll explain Amtrak’s pet policy and what’s required to take your dog on the train in this post.
For many years Amtrak did not allow pets at all. Only specially trained service dogs (and briefly emotional support animals) could travel on board. In 2016 Amtrak began to allow small dogs on specific routes along the Northeast Corridor. The experiment was a huge success, and Amtrak’s pet policy expanded to include most routes in the United States. However, there are specific rules to criteria a dog must meet to accompany you on an Amtrak train.
Amtrak Trains Pet Policy
Amtrak does allow small dogs on most train routes. Pets must travel in a carrier with a maximum size of 14″ wide x 10.5″ high. The combined weight of the carrier and pet can’t be more than 20 pounds. Amtrak only allows five pets per train, so be sure to add your dog to your reservation when booking. The additional charge to take the train with your pet is $26 for a trip up to 7 hours.
I recently took Larry on an Amtrak train from Boston, Massachusetts, to Stamford, Connecticut. We traveled in a business class seat on board the Acela high-speed train. When I booked my seat online, I indicated that I was traveling with a dog. I also downloaded the Pet Release and Indemnification Agreement and signed it before boarding. The conductor collected the form at the same time as my ticket.
I am glad Amtrak trains now allow dogs. While I wish their pet policy were not as strict regarding weight, it is better than leaving your dog at home. Perhaps someday, Amtrak will follow the lead of European train lines that do not require a pet carrier!