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Travelling with pets h1>
If your favorite animal is accompanying you on your trip, we offer a variety of options to help ensure they travel safely. Animals are sentient beings, so we want to make sure that they’re treated respectfully and travel comfortably while on board.
VIA Rail allows only small dogs and cats to travel in cars with their owners only on Corridor trains (Quebec City-Windsor). Pets must be small enough to fit comfortably in a carrier that meets our carrier standards.
The pet must be kept under control and must always be attended in the station, on the platform and while on board the train.
Note that VIA Rail employees may refuse traveller-supplied carriers that appear to be unsafe or inadequate and/or do not meet the stated standards.
Certain provinces and municipalities prohibit pit bulls. VIA Rail therefore does not allow this breed, mix or cross-breed of dogs system wide.
If you are traveling with a guide, service or emotional support dog, please visit our travel with a trained guide, service, or emotional support dog section.
To travel with your pet on board, please reserve at least 48 hours prior to departure. The number of pets allowed on board is limited, and only certain seats can accommodate them.
For the Corridor, you may purchase your tickets on line for you and your pet by phone at 1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245) or in person at one of our ticket counters. If you have a hearing or speech disability, please contact us toll-free at TTY 1-800-268-9503 (for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing).
Pets are prohibited from travelling with:
- Unaccompanied minors
- Passengers travelling with infants under the age of two years old.
- Passengers who require the use of a medical device at their seat, such as a CPAC machine, oxygen tank, etc.
- Passengers with intermodal reservations
- Passengers travelling on The Maple Leaf (Toronto–New York) Amtrak train.
- Passengers already travelling with a service dog or an emotional support dog.
A support person may travel with a pet as long as they are able to aid both the pet and the passenger who requires assistance.
Fees and conditions
Within the Corridor trains (Quebec – Windsor) $50.00 per direction (plus tax).
Pet Carrier Regulations
If any of the following conditions are not met, the pet may be denied boarding
Passengers must be able to place the animal carrier under the seat in front of them. Therefore, its dimensions cannot exceed:
Height: 27 cm (10.5 in)
Width: 40 cm (15.5 in)
Length: 55 cm (21.5 in)
- The carrier must be leakproof, and well ventilated.
- VIA Rail accepts hard and soft-sided carriers.
- The total weight of the carrier and animal must not exceed 10 kilograms (22 lb.).
- Only one pet is permitted per carrier.
- The pet carrier must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn or lie down safely and comfortably.
- No part of the animal may extend outside of the carrier.
- The pet must always remain in the carrier.
- The pet must remain on the floor at the passenger’s feet.
- The pet must not be left unattended in any public or private area such as a washroom.
- Under no condition can the pet carrier be placed on the seat.
- Passengers must ensure that the pet has received all necessary care and vaccinations and has undergone an annual health check.
- Pets must be at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned.
- A maximum of one carrier per passenger (13 years old and older) is allowed.
- In stations, for security reasons, the pet must wear a muzzle and be always on a leash when out of its carrier.
- VIA Rail may, at its sole discretion, refuse to transport any animals that appear to be unruly, aggressive, distressed, and dangerous or that appear to be dangerous or in pain.
- VIA Rail personnel may require the passenger to remove the animal en route or from the station premises if:
- The animal is out of control and effective action is not immediately taken to control the pet (for example, a dog barking repeatedly and uncontrollably or that is not housebroken).
- The pet poses a threat to the health or safety of others.
Anticipate your pet's needs
- In case of delay, the passenger must anticipate the needs of his animal.
- Make sure you bring enough food and water for your companion.
- Before you go, help him relieve himself. To ensure a smooth trip, make sure it has everything you need to be comfortable.
- It may be helpful to have pet pee pads inside the pet carrier in case your pet urinates. VIA does not provide these accessories.
If you need to check your animal, rest assured that our employees will take the best possible care of your animal.
Pets require special handling for checking, and minimal safety requirements must be adhered to when handling them.
Please be aware that baggage cars are heated, but that most are not air-conditioned. Your pet may therefore be exposed to high temperatures. From June 1 to September 30, (VIA reserves the right, at its discretion to modify these dates according to weather conditions, for your pet's comfort) baggage cars cannot transport animals due to lack of proper ventilation.
- If you wish to travel with your pet, please let us know 24 hours in advance by calling 1 888 842-7245 or TTY 1 800 268-9503 (for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing).
- Dogs and cats are the only animals allowed in baggage cars.
- Certain provinces and regions refuse pitbulls, therefore, VIA does not accept this breed of dog system wide. Mix or cross breed pit bulls are not accepted.
- Please ensure that your pet has received all necessary care and vaccinations and has undergone an annual health check.
- Pets must be checked on the same train as their owner and be claimed immediately upon arrival.
- Passengers must check their pets one hour before departure (but not much more, for the pet's comfort).
- Dogs must be muzzled when outside of their cage. Furthermore, we ask that you provide a lock to help prevent your pet escaping from its cage during the trip.
- VIA reserves the right to refuse checking pets if unsafe.
Pet Carrier Regulations
- Soft cages are prohibited. Only rigid cages (metal or hard plastic) are accepted.
- Your pet must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably.
- Pet owners must provide their own cage. Cages can be purchased at larger pet shops.
- Please note that VIA Rail reserves the right at check-in to refuse any animal that is judged to be a danger to the security of any or all travelers.
- There is no weight limit for your animal. However, for safety reasons, VIA personnel will not transport animals and cages whose combined weight exceeds 32 kg (70 lb.). If your pet exceeds this limit, you are solely responsible for carrying your animal when boarding or disembarking from the train. In this case, a VIA employee can carry the empty cage.
Fares for transportation in the baggage car
- Maximum height of accepted carriers: (maximum of 33" / 83 cm high)
- Price: $50 plus taxes per direction
On long haul trains operated outside the Corridor (like the Toronto-Vancouver or Montreal-Halifax), customers are responsible for feeding, watering and exercising their pets. Customers must coordinate visit with the Service Manager on board, and the owner must be accompanied by an on-train services employee in charge when visiting the baggage car.
Don’t forget that you have to claim your pet as soon as you reach your destination!
Passengers traveling in Business class with their pet will be allowed in the VIA Business Lounges if the pet remains imperatively in a closed pet carrier and never left unattended.
Maintaining control: You understand that you are solely responsible for managing your pet during your travel and keeping it under control at all times.
You understand that VIA Rail personnel may require you to remove your animal from the train or from the station premises if:
- Your pet is out of control, and you do not take immediate action to control your pet (for example, your dog is barking repeatedly and uncontrollably or is not housebroken);
- Your pet poses a threat to the health or safety of other people or animals.
You agree that if you are asked to remove your pet but need to remain in the train station or on the train, you will make arrangements for another person or local animal control to assume custody of your pet, at your cost. You understand that you may have to take a train at a later time on a later date, at your cost.
Behaviour: You certify that your pet has not harmed or shown aggressive or threatening behaviour toward any person or animal.
Abide by VIA Rail’s conditions and instructions: You confirm that you have reviewed and fully accept the terms of VIA Rail’s Pet Transportation conditions and instructions and those of its employees concerning your travel with your pet.
Compensation of VIA Rail: You will fully reimburse VIA Rail for all damage, harm or loss to VIA Rail or any other person caused by your pet. This includes fully reimbursing VIA Rail for the cost of any repair, cleaning, decontamination and/or other maintenance cost when your pet travels.
Assumption of liability: By signing this Agreement, you assume all risk of loss and harm to you, your pet, and your property, from whatever source or sources, which may in any way relate to your pet travel, regardless of any fault, whether it be on the part of VIA Rail, its employees, agents, servants, contractors, subcontractors and/or representatives, yourself or any other person or entity.
Release of liability: You fully release, indemnify, defend, and hold harmless VIA Rail of and from any and all claims, actions, damages, and losses, including, but not limited to, any and all claims for injury and/or death, loss of or damage to property, and all other losses suffered by VIA Rail, yourself, and/or any third party such as another passenger which may in any way relate directly or indirectly to your pet, irrespective of any negligence or other fault of VIA Rail.