When people travel, a lot of the time they want to bring along their most beloved companions.
For some people, this means family, close relatives who have been there their whole lives.
For others, this means friends, people who they have a great many things in common with and who they wish to experience life with.
However, for a great many people this means their pets, and no pet is more beloved by the population or as easily transportable as dogs.
Dogs are considered man’s best friend for a reason, and no matter where you go or how long they spend with you, they will love every minute of it.
Yet, this is a problem in some ways. Even though dogs are loveable, there are some places where it is simply not practical to take them.
Sometimes this even means on various vehicles of transportation, as even in a 10-minute car ride they will get antsy.
So, what about on Amtrak? Can you take a dog on Amtrak? Or will you have to source another route?
Today, we are going to look at this more closely and determine whether or not Amtrak will let you take your dog.
What Is Amtrak?
Amtrak is a passenger railroad service provided by the United States federal government that links 46 states (as well as 3 Canadian ones) and 500 different locations with an average of 1,700 daily trips, doing medium to long distance intercity travel across the United States.
The route system run by Amtrak is required by law to run to the places that its states.
While it does connect all major areas of the country – running from North to South and East to West – it is most commonly used in more heavily populated or industrial areas.
It is also far more developed in eastern regions, with the primary regions in the west being in California and a smaller section in Washington.
In the east, it runs its busiest route from Boston to Washington, but the entire North-eastern Corridor from Montreal to Charlotte is incredibly busy.
Wyoming is the only state in the mainland United States that does not have an Amtrak route, and the routes in the states around it are used for commercial purposes, such as transportation of goods.
Amtrak is incredibly important, not just as a passenger service, but as a goods and industrial service, and it is kept running because without it, many businesses would suffer, and many farms would have no way of transporting crops and foods to the big cities that power the whole country.
Can You Take Your Dog On Amtrak?
There is a lot of debate about whether or not you can take your dog on Amtrak. Is it permitted or is it not permitted?
The answer to this question depends largely on the individual circumstances of the owner and dog.
However, this should not be misconstrued as the policy being vague.
Amtrak is pretty adamant that only dogs and cats can go on their trains, and should you fall foul of this, you may be in hot water.
So, make sure you understand the policy we will set out below.
Generally, if your dog can fit in a bag on the train then it can go with you, but officially the dog must be under 20 pounds.
However, there are a few circumstances where taking your dog onto Amtrak might not be a good idea.
These circumstances include having a vicious dog, having a dog that is aggressive or has been trained to be aggressive, or having a pet that can cause allergies.
Thus, if your dog is safe and friendly, then you can take them on Amtrak.
Also, dogs can only come on with you for a journey that is less than 7 hours long. If it is longer than this, then your dog can’t come.
So, if your dog does not follow the guidelines above, don’t take them with you, or you can expect a fine.
Does It Cost Money To Bring A Pet On Amtrak?
Officially, Amtrak charges people for their pets on the train at $26 per pet.
However, some people say that it is free to bring your pet on Amtrak, but others say that it is not free at all, and we believe this is down to the train personnel running the service at the time.
In big cities, like Boston, train personnel are going to be not as concerned with pets as other places, as such in those areas, people probably get away with having their pet onboard for free.
However, on long journeys, where it is less crowded and follows the rules strictly, this will not be the case.
Can You Bring Service Dogs On Amtrak?
Of course, you can bring your service dogs onto Amtrak. Otherwise, what would be the point of having a service dog?
Service dogs are for people with disabilities and without them, people would be unable to function as well in our society, which is not really built for the vulnerable.
In fact, the Americans with Disabilities Act is quite clear about service dogs.
It explicitly states that service dogs are allowed in public places and that Amtrak does not have the right to discriminate against them.
Still, this only extends to service dogs. Any other service animal will not be allowed on the train.
Yet, you do not want to run afoul of people who may not know the law or may take offense to you having a genuine medical helper – there are people like that out there, unfortunately.
Therefore, try to stay out of the way and be courteous to the conductor, so as to avoid confrontation and so you have someone on your side should something happen.
You can definitely bring a dog onto an Amtrak train, as long as they are under 20 pounds or a service dog.
You will have to pay extra for your companion, however this will probably be worth it to be able to bring them to wherever you are going or want to go.