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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Is it illegal for Amtrak to limit the amount or quantity of

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Is it illegal for Amtrak to limit the amount or quantity of medication a passenger brings on board in his/her carry-on, provided the medication is prescribed to the passenger and the passenger also has a doctor's note indicating the passenger's need for the medication. Other relevant info: the medication is temperature-controlled and CANNOT be checked, since checked baggage on trains is not stored in a temperature-controlled environment.


Additional notes: these are pre-filled syringes of a Multiple Sclerosis medication. I am moving from one state to another and was told I could, at "the conductor's discretion," be denied access to the train.

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you with your question today.

William B. Esq. :

Amtrak, like other common carriers, allows passengers to carry "Required medical devices and medication" (

William B. Esq. :

From your post, it appears that you may be planning on bringing a particularly large amount of medications (beyond the "required medications" for a common journey or trip) and more in line with transportation of medications. Amtrak would be within its rights for denying transport for this amount of medication as it may qualify as a "shipment" as opposed to travel. Whether or not an individual conductor would find this distinction would be a different matter.

William B. Esq. :

There are other options and it is possible to ship large amounts of personal medications from one location to yourself at another location using services such as USPS or competitors such as FedEx, they each provide special shipping for medications requiring temperature regulation and control.

William B. Esq. :

Again, I do not know whether or not the conductor would make such a distinction, and the interpretation is vague at best meaning you could argue that the meaning "required medical devices and medication" means all of your medication, therefore you are within your rights to carry all of it, but there is no guarantee of this interpretation.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am moving from one state to another. I don't want to use FedEx or UPS because if anything happens to these medications in transit, my insurance company will NOT replace them. We're talking $15,000 of medication. It is 5 months' worth of 7-8 different medications, but strictly for personal use.


If I am prevented from transporting it in my carry-on baggage, does this not constitute a violation of the ADA?

It is not a violation of the ADA.

Again, I do not know whether or not Amtrak will cause an issue with this when you board, and you have a reasonable argument that their boarding policies allow you to bring any amount of medications on board so long as they are for your use as prescribed by your physician (just as yours are).

I only brought up the option for insured shipping as a potential alternative, I am not trying to push you one way or the other, it is not my place in this forum to advise any particular action, we only provide information on this site.

CalAttorney2 and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I guess I will have to cancel the reservation then.


This is a shame----I already canceled with an airline because the TSA basically said the same thing (that they have the discretion to determine whether the amount of medication I am carrying is "reasonable" or not).


The sad part is that this means I will not be able to relocate for my new job. I have no car and no way to get to my destination (which is 2,000 miles away).


Thanks for your help.

You are welcome, I do wish there was a better option. I would encourage you to potentially revisit the option of insured shipping, especially if it means the loss of opportunity for a new job, I would truly hate to see you lose out on something like that due to an inability to travel.

I wish you the very best regardless of the outcome, and again thank you for choosing just Answer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.


I really am too scared to risk shipping the meds.


I truly appreciate all your help.


Take care.