All Aboard! Cats and Dogs Can Travel on Amtrak

All Aboard! Cats and Dogs Can Travel on Amtrak

The overall rules for pets (both cats and dogs) are dogs and cats up to 20 pounds (combined weight of pet and carrier) are welcome on trips up to seven hours on most routes (some restrictions apply) for a small fee. While pets are not permitted on Thruway Service Connections or in checked baggage, service animals are allowed on all trains.

But if you are looking for a few more guidelines to help you plan your dog or cat trip on the train then you are in luck as we have the breakdown for you.

NOTE: You can travel with your pets in Canada, but it is not available on Adirondack, Maple Leaf and Amtrak Cascades; and not available on Auto Train, Keystone Service, Pennsylvanian, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor or Thruway Connecting Services. Also, Amtrak does not ship pets nor allow them to travel alone nor allow them to travel as checked baggage. Pets must travel with their humans and be with them at all times.

Let's Make a Reservation:

First, let's make a reservation for you. Go to Amtrak's website, then enter your departure and arrival cities and travel dates in the Fare Finder tool on the top of the Home Page. Add any passenger discounts that you qualify for and the number of travelers and click 'Find Trains'. You can book up to 8 passengers per reservation and reserve your tickets up to 11 months in advance. Available trains will be shown on the next page. When you find a train that meets your travel needs, click 'Add to Cart' above that train to continue your reservation.

Second, make a reservation for your cat or dog.

  • There's a maximum of five pets per train (service animals do not count towards this limit), so we encourage you to make your pet reservations in advance.
  • Reservations are limited to one (1) pet per customer.
  • Pet fee is assessed for each travel segment.
  • Pets are permitted in Coach Class and Acela Business Class (pets are not allowed in Acela First Class seating, First Class private rooms, non-Acela Business Class, food service cars or other accommodations).
  • Reservations with pets are limited to seven hours total travel time, including transfer time between trains on multiple-segment trips.
  • Pets cannot be booked with multi-ride tickets, Thruway Connection Services or with unaccompanied minors.
  • In the event of a service disruption, Amtrak will make reasonable efforts to seek (but cannot guarantee) pet-friendly hotel accommodations, if sheltering is necessary.

Pet Carriers or Crates:

  • Pet Owners must provide a hard pet crate or soft pet carrier, that must be leak proof and well-ventilated for your cat or dog.
  • The maximum weight of the pet and pet carrier/crate is 20 lbs.
  • The maximum size for the carrier/crate is 19" long x 14" wide x 10.5" high. This will allow the carrier/crate to fit comfortably underneath your seat.
  • For your pet's comfort and safety, it must be able to sit, lie down and remain entirely inside without touching the sides of the carrier/crate.
  • The crate/carrier counts as one (1) piece of carry-on baggage.

Pet Fees By Route

NOTE: For travel across different segments, the higher price applies.

Onboard and Station Guidelines:

  • Pets should remain entirely inside a closed carrier/crate while in stations and onboard trains and must remain with you at all times. You are prohibited to leave your pet alone at any time.
  • Onboard, place your pet underneath your seat (not the seat in front of you) except on Amtrak Cascades trains where you can put your pet carrier/crate on the floor in front of the seat next to you.
  • Pets are welcome in Coach and Acela Business Classes. But remember, they may not travel in Acela First Class seating, non-Acela Business Class, First Class Private Rooms or Food Service Cars.
  • Some routes designate a specific Coach Car for pets. Amtrak Cascades, Carl Sandburg, Illinois Zephyr, Illini, Lincoln Service, Saluki, Pere Marquette, Wolverine, Blue Water, Hiawatha and Missouri River Runner. On other pet friendly routes, you and your pet may ride in any Coach Car.

Pet Check-In Process and Paperwork

  • To confirm pet eligibility, you should read and sign a Pet Release and Indemnification Agreement for each travel segment.
  • At staffed stations, check in at the office no later than 30 minutes prior to departure to complete the pet release paperwork.
  • At unstaffed stations, the conductor will confirm pet eligibility and provide you with the document to sign.

Customer Service

If you have questions or need clarification about traveling with your pet, cat or dog, please contact Amtrak's Customer Service at 800-872-7245 or with their contact form.

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