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Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are extending a pilot program that allows travelers to bring small pets onboard to include the Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale route on the Illini and Saluki trains.Small pets have been carried between Chicago and Quincy on Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains since April, with nearly 20 small animals safely transported, Amtrak officials said in a press release.Although the pilot was scheduled to end in November, Amtrak and Illinois officials agreed to extend the trial through April 26, 2015.Advance reservations for pets are required and a surcharge of $25 is assessed for travel. Dogs or cats up to 20 pounds each will be accepted in carriers such as those used in airplane cabins and placed under the seat of each pet owner, officials said.
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