Travel with Pets on Amtrak: Tips & Guidelines

Don't leave your furry friend at home, travel with pets on Amtrak! Make a reservation to take them with you on your next Amtrak journey via Empire Service.

Editor’s Note: New York by Rail updated this August 2017 blog to include current information.

All Aboard, Fido & Fluffy | Travel with Pets on Amtrak NY | Photo from Amtrak

Traveling with your four-legged friend has never been more easy and enjoyable. | Photo from Amtrak

Travel with Pets on Amtrak!

No one gets left behind when you can travel with pets on Amtrak! Thanks to a successful pilot program, Amtrak is welcoming small dogs and cats onboard certain trains making traveling much easier for people with pets.

Of course, there are some restrictions. Pets are welcome in Coach Class only (and must not visit food service cars). They must be at least eight weeks old, weigh 20 lbs. or less, and be odorless, harmless and always be accompanied by a human.

Pets must fit into Amtrak-approved carriers (maximum size 19″ long by 14″ wide by 10.5″ high; hard- or soft-sided but leak-proof and well ventilated) which must be stowed beneath the seat. Pets must be able to sit and lie down in the carrier without touching the carrier’s sides.

All Aboard, Fido & Fluffy | Travel with Pets on Amtrak NY | Photo from Amtrak

All aboard, Fido! Reserve your pet’s boarding pass today!

A pet carrier counts as one piece of carry-on luggage. Pets must stay inside their carriers at all times in stations and onboard trains, and train trips for pets cannot exceed seven hours.

In the Northeast, small pets can travel on the Acela Express (weekends and holidays only); the Adirondack and Maple Leaf (excluding Canada); and the Downcaster, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Northeast Regional and Vermonter. A pet’s “ticket” cost is $26, and the check-in process is straightforward. Reservations are first-come, first-served, and only five pets per train are allowed. Just be sure to check in at the ticket office with your pet to complete the paperwork no less than 30 minutes before boarding. Make a reservation by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL or by visiting a staffed Amtrak station to travel with one of your pets on Amtrak.

  • Go to, call a reservation agent at 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit a staffed station to make a reservation.
  • To travel with pets on Amtrak reservations must be made. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis, and may sell out quickly. There’s a maximum of five pets per train (service animals do not count towards this limit), so passengers are encouraged to make pet reservations in advance.
  • Reservations are limited to one pet per customer.
  • Pets are permitted in Coach Class (sorry, pets are not allowed in Sleeping cars, Business Class or other accommodations).
  • Reservations with pets are limited to seven hours total, including transfer time between trains on multiple-segment trips.
  • Unfortunately, pets cannot be booked with multi-ride tickets, Thruway Connection Services or with unaccompanied minors.
  • The pet fare is a great deal at $26.00 (or 800 Amtrak Guest Rewards points) for each travel segment.
  • In the event of a service disruption, Amtrak will make reasonable efforts to seek (but cannot guarantee) pet-friendly hotel accommodations, if sheltering is necessary.
  • Pet owners must provide a pet carrier. The maximum size for pet carriers is 19″ long x 14″ wide x 10.5″ high. The maximum weight of the pet with a carrier is 20 pounds. The carrier may be hard or soft sided but must be leak proof and well ventilated.
  • For your pet’s comfort and safety, it must be able to sit and lie down without touching the sides of the carrier.
  • Your pet carrier counts as one piece of carry-on baggage.
  • Pets must remain inside their carrier while in stations and onboard trains. Please keep your pet with you at all times.
  • Onboard, place your pet carrier under your seat (not under the seat in front of you).
  • Pets are welcome in Coach Class, but please remember they may not travel in other accommodations or food service cars.
  • On New York pet-friendly Amtrak routes, you and your pet may ride in any Coach car.


  • To confirm pet eligibility, please read and sign a Pet Release and Indemnification Agreement for each leg of travel.
  • At staffed stations, please check in at the ticket office no later than 30 minutes before departure to take care of the confirmation.
  • At unstaffed stations, the conductor will confirm pet eligibility and provide you with the document to sign. Before your trip, find your station and check to see if it is staffed.


  • Your pet must be at least eight weeks old and be odorless, harmless, not disruptive and require no attention during travel.
  • Amtrak maintains the right to refuse acceptance, and may remove any pet exhibiting these issues from stations or trains.
  • You certify that your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and accept liability for your pet by signing the check-in document. Amtrak does not accept liability for the health and well-being of pets.

Amtrak does not ship pets or allow them to travel as checked baggage — a pet must travel with a human. Service animals are not considered pets, and are welcome on all Amtrak services. Visit the Service Animals page for details.

Click here for more information on Amtrak’s services in New York. Don’t forget to use the New York By Rail 15% discount when booking your reservation!