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Pets on Amtrak

February 13, 2015

On February 5, 2015 the House T&I Committee introduced a bill to fund and reform existing Amtrak operations. With similar low rates of funding as previous years, it’s yet another status quo bill that we’ve come to expect from Congress. Beyond funding, the bill addressed some other issues important to train passengers, which we break down in a four-part blog post.

If you’ve been reading media reports about the T&I Amtrak reauthorization bill you’re probably hearing a lot about cats and dogs. If passed, the bill would direct Amtrak to conduct a pilot program for allowing cats and dogs onboard. 

However, before you get too excited and bring your favorite pet along for your next ride, it would be best to take a look at the new language. 

The bill stipulates that domesticated cats and dogs would be allowed, as long as they can fit into carry-on sized containers. They’d only be allowed in climate-controlled areas, which means they couldn’t travel in baggage cars either. What’s more, Congress is not providing any funding – or telling Amtrak to make any modifications.

 For pet lovers, this is an encouraging step forward. Still, any medium to large sized pets probably won’t be enjoying train travel anytime soon.