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There’s no doubt that we are an animal-loving nation, with dogs often being our best friends. So it’s only natural that we want to take them on fun adventures, and these often start by catching the train.

Northern welcomes well-behaved pets and many of our staff have their own dogs at home. There are, however, a few rules when it comes to taking your dog on a train.

What are the rules for dogs on trains?

Pets must be under control at all times, and dogs need to be on leads unless they are in a secure, suitably sized pet carrier.

Cats, birds and small animals must travel in a safe, secure carrier. This must consist of a rigid build and be an appropriate size for the occupant.

An adult can bring a maximum of two animals, who can travel free of charge, with pet carriers placed on the floor, or carried if small enough. Pet carriers are not permitted to take up a seat.

It is important that your animals don’t disturb any other passengers, but in the event that someone objects, you must, with your animal, move to another carriage. Northern can refuse to carry an animal, under the railway bylaws.

Advice on travelling with dogs

A backpack is useful when going on a doggy day out. Make sure you pack water and a bowl, poo bags and some treats - for you and Rover! Alternatively, why not make use our of dog water bowls at over 140 of our Northern stations.

If your dog is not used to travelling by train, choose a quiet time to introduce them to the station and all the sights, sounds and smells associated with railways. Try not to force them into a situation, but be patient, use gentle encouragement, and plenty of treats.

Plan a short train journey for your dog’s first trip, preferably one with somewhere exciting to walk at the destination, and pick a seat with plenty of space around so that your dog can lie down if he wishes. The vibrations of the train on the tracks through their paws can worry some dogs, and yours may prefer to stand.

Remember to make it fun for your dog and he’ll be happy to jump on a train with you next time.

Read more about our tips for travelling with dogs.


Yes, your well-behaved dog is welcome on Northern trains, however, do double check when booking your ticket.

Northern can refuse to accept your dog, under the railway bylaws.

No, your dog can travel for free but must remain under control, and either on a lead or in a secure, rigid pet carrier of an appropriate size. Neither carriers nor dogs are permitted on the seats and must remain on the floor or, if small enough, on your lap.

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