Six-month program will evaluate idea for other trains nationally
CHICAGO — Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation are teaming up to let travelers bring their pets along between Chicago and Quincy on Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains. Reservations are now available for travel from May 5 through Nov.2, as a test of the service.
Ticketing and travel with pets can begin only at staffed stations in Chicago, Naperville and Galesburg, advance reservations are required and a surcharge of $25 will be assessed for travel. Dogs or cats up to 20- pounds each will be accepted in carriers such as those used in airplane cabins and placed at the feet and under the seat of each pet owner. Trains 380-383 operate to and from Chicago, LaGrange, Naperville, Plano, Mendota, Princeton, Kewanee, Galesburg, Macomb and Quincy.
Other provisions apply; please see the attached Amtrak Passenger Service Notice. The pilot program is scheduled to be continuously reviewed.
“Amtrak is supportive of accommodating pets on trains, and through direct collaboration with the Illinois Department of Transportation and a working group led by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham of California, we are optimistic a plan can be reached to address the needs and concerns of all our passengers,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.
“We in Illinois welcome this exciting new pilot program, which is something that has been suggested by train passengers,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “By listening to and accommodating all passengers, I am hopeful we can create a long-term policy that allows pets on trains and makes traveling on Amtrak even more appealing to a wider audience.”
Amtrak routinely welcomes service animals on trains at no charge and that policy is unchanged.
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