Q: Hello there, Peter. I am 80 years old and love traveling by rail. I need to know if Amtrak has a way to provide oxygen for those of us who must be on it 24 hours a day. How would I get oxygen tanks during a long trip?
–LaVerne, Sarasota, Fla.
A: Amtrak does not supply oxygen for passengers, but you are allowed to bring your own oxygen canister onboard. If you do so, make sure you follow the safety guidelines:
First, you must give Amtrak at least 12 hours advance notice that you are bringing oxygen aboard, and you must make a reservation by calling, toll-free, 800-USA-RAIL (872-7245). Portable oxygen containers can be plugged into the train's power outlets during the journey, but they must be able to operate a minimum of four hours under their own power.
Each tank and its associated equipment may weigh no more than 50 pounds, and the canister must be listed with Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM). You can either bring a two-tank system (with a maximum weight of 50 pounds per tank), or a six-tank system (with a maximum of 20 pounds per tank—only if the tanks can be separated and handled individually).