How to Travel by Train with Oxygen
There are many different ways to travel by train, whether using Amtrak, regional commuter trains or even 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
In the United States, the Amtrak train travel rules state that passengers are allowed to bring their oxygen equipment aboard. However, Amtrak restrictions require that you follow these guidelines, whether you are using a travel oxygen machine or tank:
- You must notify Amtrak of your need to bring oxygen aboard and make reservations in advance. Please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245). Amtrak requires at least 12 hours notice in advance of your train’s boarding time of your need to bring oxygen aboard. Make sure you indicate whether you will be using a travel oxygen machine or a travel oxygen tank.
- You must have medical necessity to bring oxygen aboard. 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 case of a power disruption, your oxygen equipment cannot rely solely on train-provided electrical power. That means if you bring a lightweight portable oxygen concentrator, you will need to bring extra batteries that will provide a minimum of four hours of power without recharging. However, using the train’s power to charge your unit is acceptable.
- Oxygen equipment must be Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) listed.
- If you are using oxygen tanks, the Amtrak train travel rules state that the total weight of all tanks you bring onboard may not exceed 120 pounds. Within this limit, Amtrak restrictions allow no more than two tanks of 50 pounds each, or no more than six tanks of 20 pounds each.
Tips for Bringing Lightweight Portable Oxygen on a Train
When you are figuring out what to bring on a train to fulfill your oxygen needs, 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 can help improve your freedom, mobility and independence by allowing you get the oxygen you need anytime, anywhere. If you need oxygen therapy, an Inogen portable oxygen concentrator is the ideal solution. Contact us to find out more today.