“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras
Pet dogs are an inseparable part of our lives. They are the most loyal friends a person can have. We do not leave any effort to care and pamper for our pet dog in our normal life. But a dilemma ushers in when you have to travel in train. Most people would love to carry their pets along with them, but is it a feasible option when you are travelling by trains? There is no clear information in this regard. The more you read about Indian Railways rules and regulations, more you get confused. So, we thought of clearing the air for you.
Can you take dogs with you in a train?
Yes, you can of course carry the dogs with you while travelling in Indian trains. But this travel will be a subject to some rules and regulations set by the Indian railways. Dogs can be kept close, within the compartment, only when you are travelling by First Class AC. In other instances, they will be held as a luggage and travel in the Brake or Luggage Van. Dogs can also be allowed in a train coach, when it is treated as the seeing eye of a blind person. But even when you take the dog along in a train compartment (other than a AC First class coupe), you have to make sure that the dog does not cause any nuisance. You have to also seek the consent of fellow passengers.
- NOTE: To carry a dog in train, you need to contact the Parcel Office of your boarding station. On the payment of INR 10 and above (depending on the size of the dog) you would be provided a booking slip. This is the ticket for your dog. No matter how the dog travels (whether within a train compartment or within the luggage van) this booking slip is necessary.
Tips for Taking Your Dog in a Train
- Reserving a First Class AC coupe is the best way to travel with a dog in train. You may have to reserve some extra berths, but it would assure a comfortable travel experience for your beloved pet.
- General passengers (barring a blind person) travelling in any other class cannot take the dog along in a train’s compartment. But the dog can be carried in the Luggage or Brake Van by paying the due charges (mentioned above). There are specially designed Dog Boxes available in the Brake Vans for such purposes.
- If you want to carry your dog in the Luggage Van, contact the Parcel Office and book accommodation for your dog two days before the commencement of journey.
- If you are detected carrying a dog without due booking in an AC First Class or Brake Van you will be charged at Luggage Rates based on the weight of the dog and have to pay a minimum fine of INR 10 per dog. These charges are prepaid in nature.
- In case the dog is the “Seeing Eye” of a blind person, the tariff charged will be same as dogs carried in the brake van, though they remain within the compartment. However, the dogs must have Collars and Chains fitted for such travel.
- It is the responsibility of the owner to arrange for food and water along the course of the journey.
- Even when you carry the dog along with you in a First Class AC compartment (and sharing a coupe) you will need the consent of fellow passengers. If at any point of the journey, the fellow passengers object to the dog remaining in the compartment, your pet will be immediately removed to the Guard’s van and no refund will be provided.
- Dogs cannot be carried in the compartment when you are travelling in AC Sleeper coaches, AC chair car or second class coaches.
- If the dog is found breaching any Indian railway rules it will be removed immediately to the brake van and extra charges (complying six times of the Luggage Scale Rate) would be charged from you.
Is travelling in trains really safe for Dogs?
So, you can definitely carry a dog with you if all these Indian Railways regulations are adhered to. But as a pet lover, you want to know about the safety of your beloved pet. Let us be frank, the conditions of Dog Boxes are not great. They are kept in a separate compartment. These small boxes with iron shutters have cramped spaces. Apart from this, the coach where these boxes are kept obviously do not have any air conditioner to regulate the temperature. “I have known many dogs that have not made it to the end of the journey because of excess heat, dehydration and fright. I myself brought my dog in these horrible conditions in Bombay Mail because I wasn’t aware of how bad the condition is,” says Ina D’Souza, RailYatri app user. So, travelling with dogs is not the best option, especially if you cannot accommodate the dog within your compartment.