Amtrak Funding Bill Approved By House Includes Provision Allowing Pets On Trains

After embarking on a trial allowing dogs and cats to travel on some trains along with their owners last spring, it seems Amtrak could soon have pet cars on all its trains nationwide. In a bill passed by the House that approved Amtrak funding, legislators rewrote the rules regarding furry companions riding the rails.

Written into the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act along with reforms aimed at improving the railroad’s fiscal performance is a provision allowing passengers to carry on dogs and cats the same way they might on planes, reports NPR News.

Amtrak will designate at least one car per train for pets under the pilot program, where circumstances allow it, so passengers “may transport a domesticated cat or dog in the same manner as carry-on baggage” for a fee. During a trial of a similar program, passengers paid Amtrak a $35 surcharge for pets.

Behind this part of the bill is Rep. Jeff Denham, who has been trying to get pets on trains since he was barred from bringing his French bulldog on an Amtrak in the past.

“Lily often accompanies me when I fly across the country, and it just doesn’t make sense that I can bring her with me on a plane, but she can’t come with me on a train,” he wrote in a Facebook post when reintroducing the bill back in February.

The bill heads to the Senate next, and has the support of the White House.

House Approves Amtrak Funding, Rewrites Rules To Allow Furry Riders [NPR News]