Amtrak announced passengers will be able to travel with their small pets from Boston to Lynchburg, Newport News and Norfolk, VA on the Northeast Regional service and between Boston and Brunswick, Maine on the Downeaster route. Reservations are now available for travel beginning Monday, October 12.
After a successful launch of its pets program in Illinois, Amtrak decided to bring this highly anticipated pilot program to passengers traveling along the Northeast Corridor and New England.
This new service allows passengers to take their pets (one cat or one small dog) in an enclosed carrier on trips up to seven hours in length. Both pet and carrier must be a combined weight of 20 pounds or less and placed under each pet owner’s seat. Pets must be at least eight weeks old with current vaccination records.
Advance reservations are required and a surcharge of $25 will be assessed for travel. Passengers must arrive 30 minutes prior to train departure to check-in at a ticket counter and sign a pet waiver form. Amtrak routinely welcomes service animals on trains at no charge and that policy
is unchanged. This pilot program, which is initially scheduled through February 15, 2016, will be regularly reviewed for possible improvements or continuation beyond that date.
The Illinois pets program launched in 2014. During its first year, more than 200 animals accompanied passengers without a single complaint or incident. Upon completion of this program, continuation on the corridor and expansion to additional routes will be considered in early 2016.