**Update December 8, 2015**
Amtrak has been testing the idea of allowing pets to ride in their train cars for several months. Thanks to California Representative Jeff Denham, that’s no longer just an idea, it’s the law.
Rep. Denham is a huge dog lover. His own pup, Lily, inspired him to author the Pets on Trains Act. The bipartisan effort took two years to pass. Pups and pup parents everywhere are rejoicing, but probably no one is celebrating more than Rep. Denham and Lily.
.@Lis_Smith @samsteinhp @CerseiTheCat @Amtrak Years of effort pay off! Lily is thrilled. #petsontrains pic.twitter.com/V6NBuPRWWI
— Jeff Denham (@RepJeffDenham) December 1, 2015
The Pets on Trains Act didn’t fare that well on its own, so lawmakers inserted its language into a larger highway appropriations bill, which passed earlier this month.
According to the bill, all Amtrak trains must have one car on which travelers are allowed to bring their dogs or cats. The pets must be in carriers that meet Amtrak’s size requirements for carry-on luggage. Sadly, this means that larger dogs won’t be able to travel in passenger cars. Passengers who wish to bring their pets on the train will have to pay a fee, which the price of which is currently undetermined.
This is great news for jet-setting (train-setting?) humans. You never have to travel without your (small-to-medium-sized) BFF again!
This is the most pawesome news for pup parents traveling along the east coast! Amtrak announced that it will allow pets under 20 pounds to ride on their trains!
This currently applies only to east coast travels, but it’s pilot program, meaning that if all goes well, it will expand to other routes.
According to Philly.com:
“[The rule applies to] passengers traveling on the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Lynchburg, Newport News or Norfolk, VA… and riders traveling in New England between Boston and Brunswick, Maine.”
There are some requirements to travel with your pup (or cat):
– The pet must be 20 pounds or less.
– Your animal must be able to fit in a carrier and that carrier must be able to fit under your seat.
– The furball needs to be at least 8 weeks old and up to date on all of the appropriate vaccinations.
– You are required to make advanced reservations and pay a $25 surcharge.
– You must arrive 30 minutes before departure.
– You will need to sign a pet waiver.
This is terrific news for pawrents and we hope all goes well with this pilot program and that other Amtrak routes adopt this policy.