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  • Travelling by Train with an Assistance Dog

    Travelling by train with Assistance Dogs

    Assistance Dogs (UK) represent five registered charities. These are: Canine Partners, Dogs for the Disabled, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Support Dogs and The Guide Dogs for the Blind.

    To help us achieve our goal and commitment to delivering the best possible service to our customers, Arriva Trains Wales has introduced the ‘Assistance Dogs Travel Guide’ in partnership with each of the Charities.

    The principle aim of the scheme is to raise awareness of the needs of Assistance Dog owners amongst our employees when travelling by train. Increasingly, Assistance Dog owners are enjoying the benefits and freedom of travel. Their dogs undergo intensive training in preparing them to use public transport.

    In most cases, dog owners do not experience problems when travelling with Arriva Trains Wales. One area where customer feedback has indicated an opportunity to further improve our service is the provision of a ‘protected space’ for the customer’s dog.

    Assistance Dogs are trained to sit at their owner’s feet and naturally require additional space to sit or lie down during their journey. By following a few simple steps, the scheme will help to ensure that all Assistance Dogs and their handlers can travel safely and in comfort. 

    How does the scheme work?

    Every Arriva Trains Wales Conductor carries a personal supply of special highly visible and re-usable ‘Assistance Dog Cards’ whilst on duty. These cards are the same size as a standard seat reservation card and fit into the reservation card slot on top of the seat.

    As the train arrives at a station, a conductor identifies a customer travelling with an Assistance Dog. At the earliest opportunity on departure from the station, the conductor locates the customer and dog. To help conductors, dogs wear tabards identifying themselves as Assistance Dogs

    The conductor then greets the customer and enquires if he or she requires assistance whilst also confirming at which station he or she is alighting.

    Should I plan my journey in advance?

    Whenever possible, for longer distance journeys operated by Arriva Trains Wales, customers travelling with Assistance Dogs are encouraged to reserve two seats in advance. One seat is for the customer - the other is kept free for the dog to sit or lie on the floor.

    On services that do not have seat reservations, staff on the platform or the conductor can assist with guiding you to a seat.

    If you have any questions, please give our Assisted Travel team a call on 033 300 50 501 who will be happy to help.

    How do I find my seats?

    The reservable seats will be identifiable by standard seat reservation tickets. To ensure that the empty seat reserved for the Assistance Dog is also kept free, the conductor will place an Assistance Dog Card in the reservation slot above the seat.

    Are there any special arrangements for customers travelling in a wheelchair with an Assistance Dog? 

    Customers requiring a wheelchair space are advised to reserve the ‘Wheelchair Companion Seat’ by booking via Assisted Travel on 033 300 50 501. The space in front of the Companion Seat will be kept free for the Assistance Dog.

    For further information about the charities, please visit their websites below:

    If you would like a personal Assistance Dog card to use during your journey, please contact our Community Relations team at and we will post a card to you.

    Assistance Dog Seat Ticket