Lonely Planet Writer

Amtrak expands pets program across USA

After a successful pilot, Amtrak is expanding its pets on trains program across the USA.

Scenes like this could become more common in American railway stations
This could become a common sight in American railway stations. Image by Amtrak

The national rail service will allow customers with small cats and dogs to continue travelling permanently on eastern corridor and some mid-western corridor trains. Starting from Tuesday, 16 February, the program will also be expanded to include trips up to 7 hours in length throughout the nation. Shorter services near California are not able to avail of the scheme yet.

Since the pilot launched in October 2015, more than 2700 pets have boarded US trains. The pets program is proving particularly popular with travellers from Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

“We are excited to bring this service to more of our passengers throughout the country who want to travel with these cherished family members,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “We listened to our passengers and delivered on this program, which will also help increase ridership and revenue.”

The news has generally been met with positive news on social media, although some users expressed concern about the impact it would have on travellers with allergies, as pets have to be kept under the seat of their human companion.

Read more:

Furry fliers: 5 tips for travelling with your pets

Rocked by the rails: Canada’s amazing train trips