How to Travel by Train with an Oxygen Concentrator
There are many different ways to travel by train, whether using national or regional commuter trains as well as local rail lines. If you are wondering what to bring on a train when it comes to oxygen supplies, it is a good idea to check with each train company about traveling with oxygen tanks or lightweight portable oxygen. If you are traveling within the United States, it is likely you will be using Amtrak, in which case you should review the Amtrak train travel rules for traveling with oxygen. Rail carriers in countries outside the United States may have different requirements, as well as different standards for electrical outlets. Before you begin your trip, it is important to call the specific rail carrier to ensure that any specific guidelines are met.
Amtrak Restrictions on Oxygen Equipment
Amtrak allows passengers who use oxygen equipment (e.g., bottled oxygen, oxygen concentrators) to bring the equipment onboard Amtrak trains with certain restrictions. Oxygen equipment transport is allowed on trains only for passengers with a disability. You may be required to provide a medical necessity to bring oxygen aboard the train.
Because it is not possible to make reservations that include oxygen equipment on Amtrak.com, you must call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) to let Amtrak know of your need to bring oxygen equipment and to make your reservations in advance. For TTY service, call 1-800-523-6590. Agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Portable oxygen equipment must meet the following specifications:
- Power Source: Oxygen equipment, including oxygen concentrators, must be able to operate a minimum of four hours without available onboard electrical power (in the event of a power disruption onboard). Using the train’s power to charge your unit is acceptable.
- UL or FM Listed: Oxygen equipment must be Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) listed.
- Weight Limits: The total weight of all tanks may not exceed 120 lbs. (54 kg). Within this limit, we allow:
- No more than 2 tanks, 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) each, or
- No more than 6 tanks, 20 lbs. (9 kg) each
Tips for Bringing Lightweight Portable Oxygen on a Train
When you are taking stock of what to bring on a train, it is a good idea to carry proof of your medical need for supplemental oxygen, as well as bringing a copy of your oxygen prescription with you. In addition, consider the different needs of each oxygen delivery system. Traveling with a lightweight portable oxygen concentrator will require power and charged extra batteries, while traveling with oxygen tanks requires a safe storage space and extra tanks. Here are some additional tips for train travel with supplemental oxygen.
- If you are using a travel oxygen machine, request a seat with a power port when making your train reservation. Confirm your seat has a power port upon boarding the train.
- Carry the additional adapters that came with your travel oxygen machine in case there are different power port configurations.
- Carry enough batteries for the duration of your trip in case your train does not have power ports available.
- Check with the train company and make sure you are clear on any requirements or restrictions on traveling with oxygen equipment. The Amtrak train travel rules above are quite clear, but different companies may have different guidelines.
A Travel Oxygen Machine Makes Train Travel Simple
While you are welcome to travel with any oxygen delivery system that meets the Amtrak train travel rules, as long as you have a medical need, using a lightweight portable oxygen machine certainly makes it easier.
Lightweight portable oxygen concentrators, like those from Inogen, offer a compact solution for oxygen therapy. Easy to use both at home and on the go, any Inogen One model provides travel portability for a patient’s active lifestyle. If you need oxygen therapy, an Inogen portable oxygen concentrator may be an ideal solution. Contact us to find out how Inogen One portable oxygen concentrators can provide the supplemental oxygen you need for your on-the-go lifestyle.