Amtrak pet travel is an excellent form of long-distance travel. Known for providing convenient, fast rail service throughout the country, the introduction of pet-friendly train travel has safely brought nearly 70,000 animals to their destinations. Trains are a safer and less stressful alternative to airline travel. If you don’t want to leave your furry friend at home for an extended trip or vacation, consider Amtrak.

As with airlines, Amtrak imposes a set of restrictions designed to ensure both passenger and animal comfort and safety. To ensure you can travel safely with your animal, here is the Amtrak pet travel information you need to know.



How much does it cost to bring a pet on Amtrak?

$25 or 800 Amtrak Guest Reward points for each travel segment.


How many animals/pets are allowed on each train?

Between 5 and 8, depending on your route.


What animals are allowed on Amtrak?

Cats and dogs.


What is the maximum carrier size?

19”L x 14”W x 10.5”H.


Are there weight restrictions?

The combined weight of the pet and carrier cannot exceed 20lbs.


What pet travel forms are required?

Pet parents must read and sign a Pet Release and Indemnification Agreement for each leg of travel.


Are there age restrictions?

Pets should be at least eight weeks old. Animals may not travel with unaccompanied minors.


Are there distance or trip length restrictions?

Your pet’s voyage cannot exceed 7 hours.


Booking Your Pet’s Amtrak Reservation

Note that pet reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. During busy travel seasons, such as in the summer or aroun3d the holidays, these seats may run out quickly. It is therefore essential to book your tickets as soon as your travel plans are made. To make a reservation, visit Amtrak’s website, call a reservation agent at 1-800-USA-RAIL, or visit a staffed station. Reservations are limited to one pet per customer, and pets cannot be booked with multi-ride tickets or those with Thruway Connection Services.


At staffed stations, pet parents are required to check in at the ticket office at least 30 minutes prior to departure. At unstaffed stations, the conductor will confirm your pet’s eligibility and provide you with the Pet Release and Indemnification Agreement to sign.


More Amtrak FAQ Pet Info


Should I be aware of any additional carrier guidelines?

To travel safely on an Amtrak train, your pet and carrier must fit comfortably under your seat. The carrier may be hard- or soft-sided, but it should be leak-proof and well ventilated. The animal should be able to sit and lie down within the container without touching the sides. Additionally, pet parents should note that a carrier counts as one piece of carry-on luggage. On Amtrak Cascades trains, carriers may be placed on the floor in front of the seat next to you.


On which lines is pet service offered?

Pet service is available on most Amtrak routes including:


  • Capitol Limited
  • Cardinal
  • Carolinian
  • Crescent
  • Lake Shore Limited
  • Palmetto
  • Piedmont
  • Silver Meteor
  • Silver Star
  • Amtrak Cascades
  • California Zephyr
  • Coast Starlight
  • Southwest Chief
  • Sunset Limited
  • Texas Eagle
  • California Zephyr
  • Capitol Limited
  • Cardinal
  • City of New Orleans
  • Empire Builder
  • Hiawatha
  • Illinois Service
  • Lake Shore Limited
  • Michigan Service
  • Missouri River Runner
  • Southwest Chief
  • Texas Eagle
  • Acela Express (Weekends only)
  • Adirondack
  • Downeaster
  • Empire Service
  • Ethan Allen Express
  • Maple Leaf
  • Northeast Regional
  • Vermonter (Washington through Springfield)


Are there seat restrictions?

Pets must travel in coach class. They are not allowed in food service cars, sleeper cars, or in business class. Some routes designate a specific coach car for pets. This includes Amtrak Cascades, Carl Sandburg Illinois Zephyr, Illini, Saluki, Pere Marquette, Wolverine, Blue Water, Hiawatha, and the Missouri River Runner. On all other pet-friendly routes, your animal may ride with you in any coach car.


Can my animal be refused for travel?

Yes, as part of its pet policy, Amtrak maintains the right to refuse animal acceptance and may remove any pet exhibited one or more of the following issues: the animal omits a strong smell, it has displayed aggressive behavior, or it causes a disruption. Additionally, Amtrak does not accept liability for the health and wellbeing of any pet.