Amtrak is letting pets aboard trains in Virginia

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Amtrak is letting all passengers bring their pets aboard trains in Virginia starting next week.

Amtrak announced Thursday that small pets will be allowed on Northeast Regional trains, whose Virginia stops include Lynchburg, Newport News and Norfolk.

Amtrak says it is starting the service Monday after a successful launch in Illinois.

For a $25 surcharge, one small cat or dog will be allowed in an enclosed carrier on trips of up to seven hours in length. The pet and carrier must be a combined weight or 20 pounds or less and be placed underneath the owner's seat.

Pets must be at least eight weeks old and be vaccinated.

Advance reservations and check-in are required. Service animals will continue to be allowed at no additional cost.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.