Amtrak Allowing Pets On Certain Trains In New Trial Program

Trains! Such adorable little vestiges of a golden era gone by, so rich in quaint customs like not allowing pets onboard, even as those young upstart airlines have accepted furry friends for decades. But Amtrak is possibly going to change that, with a new trial policy of allowing dogs and cats on trains — but just on certain routes for now.

Starting May 5 on the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains between Chicago and Quincy, IL, furry passengers under 20 pounds can ride the rails for a $25 surcharge, reports NBC News.

But if you’ve had dreams of walking Fido down to the dining car or showing Buttons the view from the observation car, prepare for a reality check — pets must stay in secure carriers stowed under their owners’ seats, and can’t be taken out to do their bathroom business on any stops.

“There are stops at stations, but they’re not for that purpose,” a spokesman said. “The stops are pretty short.”

The route is part of a six-month trial program before Amtrak decides whether or not to allow pets on all its trains nationwide. This is a first for Amtrak, which previously only allowed service animals to travel in the passenger cabin. Some trains used to allow pets in the baggage cars, but not since the late 1970s.

All Aboard! Amtrak Now Accepting Pet Passengers on Some Trains [NBC News]

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  1. evlpete says:

    This month (April) Amtrak discontinued champagne service as well as the wine and cheese tasting for first class. They also discontinued stocking wine in the Parlour Car (aka: 1st class observation car), although overpriced “mini” bottles are still available in the cafe car.