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Info Guides

Our pet Info Guides are there to help you understand better your pets and pet-related issues, from advice about dogs and hotels to vets and pet insurance. If there's a topic we've not covered and you'd like to see, please contact us.

Travelling with Pets on the Train

Since the 'good old days' of British Rail, it seems there are more train companies than ever.  Except Eurostar, all train companies are subject to the National Rail Conditions of Carriage.  These set out your minimum rights when travelling on trains.  The Train Companies may give you more extensive rights but they may not give you less.  If you find any company has breached your rights, you can complain to the Train Company.

If you have any problems taking your pets on a train in the UK, please let us know.  We would be happy to take this up with the Train Company on your behalf.  Our mission is to make sure we can all travel with our pets, whenever and however we want.   Just email us at info@takeyourpet.co.uk and we'll see if we can help.

This table summarizes what the National Rail Conditions of Carriage say about travelling with pets:

Animals Permitted on train? Allowance per passenger Charge for additional animal
Dogs on leads Yes Up to 2 free of charge Half adult fare each
In baskets/pet carriers (max. 85x60x60cm) Yes Up to 2 free of charge Half adult fare each
In baskets/pet carriers (larger than 85/60/60cm) No    
Livestock No    

If you want specifics, these are the National Rail Conditions of Carriage rules on travelling with pets:

You may take dogs and small animals with you into the passenger accommodation of trains.  Animals, with the exception of assistance dogs at the discretion of the steward, may not be taken into buffet or restaurant cars.  Animals are not generally allowed in sleeper compartments, however dogs may be conveyed in sleeper cabins with the permission of the Train Company.  You should apply for such permission at least 48 hours before you travel.

Except for dogs, animals must be conveyed in a fully enclosed basket or pet carrier designed for this purpose with dimensions not exceeding 85 x 60 x 60 cm.  Baskets and pet carriers must be large enough to allow the animal to stand and lie down in comfort.  Animals (other than dogs) that are too large for a basket or pet carrier with dimensions 85 x 60 x 60cm may not be conveyed by train.  Two animals may accompany you on trains free of charge.

A fee not exceeding half the adult fare for your journey is charged for each additional animal in excess of your free allowance.  An animal may be conveyed in a train's luggage van, if one is available.  A dog should be muzzled and its lead securely fastened as directed by Train Company staff.  Baskets and pet carriers must be secure.  Dogs and any baskets or pet carriers must be clearly marked with your name, address and destination station.  Staff will not hand over animals until you have proved ownership.  Dogs must be kept on a lead throughout your journey; other animals must not be taken out of their baskets or pet carriers.  If your dog or other animal causes a nuisance or inconvenience to other passengers you may be asked to remove it from the train or railway premises.

We've also asked the different train companies what their specific rules are on travelling with pets.  This table sets out the replies we received.  This was correct at the time we did it, but it's always worth checking.  Train companies can change (usually when they lose their franchise).

Train company Area covered Pet info Charges
Arriva Trains Wales Up to 2 small domestic animals allowed per person. No livestock. No additional charge for max. 2 pets.
C2C Railways Essex Provided they do not or are not likely to cause inconvenience to other customers or to staff, customers may take dogs, cats and other small animals (up to a maximum of two for each customer).  Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. Other small animals (including dogs) may be conveyed in a pet carrier. No additional charge for two pets but if a container occupies a seat a charge will be made.
Chiltern Railways Berks/Home Counties Pets accepted.  Must carry pets on escalators, mustn't allow pets to harm, foul or damage anything.  If you are asked to remove your pet & refuse to do so, your pet may be taken away and will be stored at your cost. No additional charge for pets
Cross Country Nationwide You are allowed to take pets on any of our services, including First Class, as long as they are well behaved so they do not upset other customers' journeys.  If your pet is not well behaved at any point of the journey, the Train Manager has the right to ask you and your pet to leave the train. Two dogs/pets in containers free of charge.  A charge not exceeding half the adult fare will be charged for additional animals.
East Midlands Trains East Midlands We do allow customers to take dogs and small animals on our trains. Dogs must be on a lead and other animals conveyed in a fully enclosed basket or pet carrier (dimensions not exceeding 85 x 60 x 60 cm). Up to 2 animals can be taken free of charge per ticket holder.  A charge not exceeding half the adult fare will be charged for additional animals.
Eurostar UK/France/Belgium Eurostar trains do not permit even relatively small animals on board, other than guide dogs.  The owners of Eurostar "feel it would be in the best interests of pets and their owners, or for that matter other passengers, not to permit them to board. We are sorry for any disappointment this may cause." Sadly the Conditions of Carriage do not apply to Eurostar trains.
First Capital Connect London, Brighton, Peterborough, Bedford, Cambridge Pets welcome, dogs must be on leads and other animals (including chickens!) in carry boxes No additional charge for pets
First Great Western West of England, Cotswolds, South Wales & London You are able to take dogs and small animals into the passenger's accommodation with you. Except for dogs all other animals must be conveyed in a fully enclosed basket or pet carrier designed for this purpose. Dogs must be kept on a lead throughout your journey and all other animals must not be removed from their baskets or carriers. Two animals may accompany you free of charge.
First Hull Trains Hull to London Each passenger may travel with up to two small domestic animals on most train services. Animals should be on a lead, muzzled or in a container. You may be asked to move to a different part of the train if other passengers object to travelling with animals. Pets are not permitted to use train seats.  Two animals permitted free of charge. A charge of half the adult fare will be charged up to a maximum of £5.00 single and £10.00 return for each further animal transported.
First TransPennine Express Manchester to Yorkshire It is possible to take pets on trains, although this is down to the discretion of the Conductor. You may board the train with one dog as long as it is on a lead and does not cause a nuisance to other passengers. Other smaller animals can also be taken on board as long as they are in a suitable container. The carriage of animals is free of charge, however, they are not permitted on tables or seats. Free of charge (but does their limit of one dog breach the National Conditions of Carriage?)
Gatwick Express London to Gatwick Airport The National Conditions of Carriage apply, so max. 2 pets per passenger permitted No charge for 2 pets per paying passenger
Grand Central London to North England In most circumstances your pet can travel with you free of charge, provided it does not occupy a seat. No additional charge for pets
Heathrow Connect London to Heathrow Airport Pets welcome, dogs must be on leads and other animals (including chickens!) in carry boxes No additional charge for pets
Heathrow Express London to Heathrow Airport Guide dogs and dogs for the hearing impaired are allowed on-board as long as they are on a lead.  Other animals accepted as long as they are securely boxed. No additional charge for pets.
Island Line Isle of Wight Part of South West Trains - see below No additional charge for pets.
London Midland London to Midlands Passengers can within limits take more than one pet; dogs must be kept on a lead and off the seats and any other animals must be transported in a appropriate container and must not take up space if this is needed by a passenger. There is no charge to transport pets.
London Overground London suburbs Pets allowed as long as:

a) They don't cause injury, inconvenience or a nuisance or damage to Property.  

(b) There is enough room;

(c) Loading or unloading doesn't cause delay to trains; and

(d) Pets are carried or packaged in a suitable manner.

There is no charge to transport pets
Mersey Rail Merseyside Domestic pets permitted as long as they are well behaved.  Small domestic pets in cages are not a problem; no livestock of any description allowed. Dogs are allowed free of charge but you must ensure that your dog is kept on a lead and is not allowed on train seats or to cause a nuisance to other customers. Bigger or vicious dogs should be muzzled and suitably restrained.  No additional charge for pets.
National Express East Anglia East Anglia Passengers may take with them subject to conditions below, dogs, cats and other small animals (maximum two per passenger) provided they do not endanger or inconvenience passengers or staff.  Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times unless contained in a basket. Dogs without leads, cats, birds and small animals must be carried in an enclosed basket, cage or pet carrier.  It must be rigid and not open (to prevent escape) and the animal able to stand and lie down in comfort.  Animals and containers must not occupy seats; otherwise a charge will be made.  Animals are not allowed in restaurant cars except for guide dogs (blind or deaf assistance dogs), which may be allowed into the restaurant car at the Steward's discretion.  We may refuse carriage or entry to any animal. If a customer objects to the presence of an animal, the owner must move it to another part of the train or put it in a suitable container in the guard's van/luggage van where available.  When dogs are carried in the guard's van/luggage van (other than those in a container) they must be secured with collar and chain and properly muzzled. No additional charge for pets
National Express East Coast London to Scotland, via Yorkshire See National Express East Anglia for National Express rules on travelling with pets No additional charge for pets
Northern Rail Yorkshire, Lancashire & West Coast Pets are generally accepted without charge as long as they are looked after by the owner and all aisles are kept free for health and safety.  No additional charge for pets.
ScotRail Scotland Passengers can take up to two dogs, or cats, or other domestic animals. A charge is made for each additional dog, cat or other small animal above the free allowance.  Dogs may accompany passengers in Sleeper services subject to a charge for a heavy duty clean and the booking must be Standard Class with two people travelling together, otherwise a Solo supplement is payable for exclusive use of a twin-berth cabin. Guide dogs are allowed on Sleeper services provided the blind or deaf person and dog are booked into single-cabin accommodation. The guide or assistance dog is conveyed free and no cleaning charge applies. Booking for all dogs travelling in Sleepers should be made at least 48 hours in advance. No additional charge for two pets.

Half adult fare for any additional pets.  Cleaning charge for dogs travelling in Sleeper cabins (& solo supplement may apply).

South West Trains South East & London Passengers may take with them, free of charge dogs, cats and other small animals (maximum two per passenger), provided they do not endanger or inconvenience other passengers or staff.  Dogs without leads, cats, birds and small animals must be carried in an enclosed basket, cage or pet carrier. It must be rigid and not open (to prevent escape) and the animal must be able to stand and lie down in comfort. Animals must not occupy seats otherwise a charge will be made. If another customer objects to the presence of an animal, the owner must move it to another part of the train. No charge for maximum 2 pets per passenger.
Southeastern Kent & East Sussex You may take dogs and small animals with you into the passenger accommodation of trains. Except for dogs, animals must be conveyed in a fully enclosed basket or pet carrier not exceeding 85 x 60 x 60 cm.  Dogs must be kept on a lead throughout your journey and are not allowed on seats; other animals must not be taken out of their baskets or pet carriers. If your dog or other animal causes a nuisance or inconvenience to other passengers you may be asked to remove it from a train or railway premises by staff. No additional charge for pets.
Southern London to South coast You may take dogs and small animals with you into the passenger accommodation of trains. Except for dogs, animals must be conveyed in a fully enclosed basket or pet carrier not exceeding 85 x 60 x 60 cm. Animals which are too large for a basket or pet carrier (85 x 60 x 60 cm) may not be conveyed by train. An animal may be conveyed in a train's luggage van, if one is available. A dog should be muzzled and its lead securely fastened as directed by Train Company staff. Baskets and pet carriers must be secure. Dogs and any baskets or pet carriers must be clearly labelled with your name, address and destination station. Staff will not hand over animals until you have proved ownership. Dogs must be kept on a lead throughout your journey; other animals must not be taken out of their baskets or pet carriers. If your dog or other animal causes a nuisance or inconvenience to other passengers you may be asked to remove it from a train or railway premises by the Train Company or Rail Service Company staff. No additional charge for two pets.

Any additional animals are charged at no more than half the adult fare.

Stansted Express London to Stansted Airport Part of National Express - see National Express East Anglia No additional charge
Virgin Trains London to Scotland & Manchester Pets permitted, as long as they don't occupy seats. No additional charge
Wrexham & Shropshire London to Wrexham via Shropshire There would be no charge for pets but you would be restricted to I small animal per passenger. They would have to be caged or on a lead.   No charge for one small animal per person this seems to breach the conditions of carriage?
London Underground London Pets and dogs are allowed on London Underground, free of charge.  Dogs must be kept on leads.  All pets, including dogs, must be carried on escalators.  This is for safety reasons (tails can easily get caught in the escalator). No additional charge for pets

If we've missed any or if you've already travelled on one of these railways with your pet, please do let us know: info@takeyourpet.co.uk

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