Tails on Rails

Tails on Rails is an initiative seeking to allow companion animals, especially dogs, to travel responsibly on the Sydney Trains network on weekends.

Sydney is lagging behind many pet-friendly public transport systems, particularly Melbourne, Auckland and London, as well as in Europe.

Good dog, good owner. By and large, dogs and their owners are responsible and well behaved. Dogs are toilet trained, owners carry “poo bags” and on a train, carry a cloth. In Melbourne dogs need to be on a leash and wear a (soft) muzzle to travel.

Good dogs and good owners Melbourne May 2022

Why Sydney Trains? The extensive Sydney Trains network is ideal for companion animals. The floors are lino, there is space on the floor and plenty of room for dogs to sit or lie on the floor. In the unlikely case of an “accident” the owner can easily clean up the mess. In Victoria, the urban PTV (Metro) trains allow dogs on trains at all times. In London, dogs can travel on all public transport. Across the Tasman Sea, Auckland also allows dogs on off-peak metropolitan trains and recently (May 2023) on buses for a trial.

Why weekends? Weekends are a great time to introduce the experience of Tails on Rails. Trains are less crowded, people are generally in weekend – rather than work – mode so are a little more tolerant of four legged travellers.

Good for the environment We all know trains are a low carbon footprint travel option. Encouraging public transport use for dog owners on weekends is good for the owners, the dogs and better than using a car.

Good for you Taking your pet on a train opens a rich experience to discover new walking trails for you and your dog without traffic, parking and tolls.

It works For many years in Melbourne (pet) dogs have been allowed on suburban trains at all times. The advice is the system works and there are very few incidents. In London it is the same. The “rules” for dogs are much the same as in any public place. They must be on a leash, you must tidy up after them and they must not cause any bother to anyone.

Like the idea? If you are in Sydney, or on the Sydney Trains (Opal Card) network (extending to Goulburn, Bomaderry, Maitland and Lithgow) and would like your dog to join you on the weekends, contact your local State member and ask them to contact the Minister for Transport on your behalf. Or you can contact the Minister directly.

About Tails on Rails Tails on Rails is based in Bundanoon, New South Wales. It runs on a shoestring budget and is an idea developed by Andy Carnahan. The project has a defined scope to “work towards companion animals, particularly dogs, being allowed to travel on Sydney Trains on weekends.”

Allowing good dogs on our services aids us in our efforts to encourage active travel and reduce car dependency. We encourage Sydney’s train operators to welcome good dogs and their responsible human companions in their great city

Transport for London