An Amtrak pet policy is being testing that would allow dogs and cats under 20 pounds on board passenger trains.
The pilot program is beginning in Illinois.
Between May 5 and Nov. 2, the Chicago to Quincy, Ill., line (a some 4.5 hour trek) would allow pets with a $25 fee.
One or two cars would be reserved for the pets — to keep them away from those who do not want to be near pets or those allergic.
The move is part of the Carry-On Pet pilot program.
Amtrak is “supportive” of accommodating pets on trains and “we are optimistic a plan
can be reached to address the needs and concerns of all our passengers,’’ Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said in a news release.
The agency is collaborating on the project with the Illinois Department of Transportation, which funds Amtrak, and a working group led by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, a California Republican, who has been pushing for a nationwide pets-on-trains law.
“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 in a press release. “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.”
Pets would need to remain in the carriers while on board.