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Complete Guide: Taking Knife On A Train In The United States

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Traveling with a knife on any public transport can be a complicated affair. Train travel in the United States is no different, and the rules change from state to state and train line to train line. What are your options for traveling on a train in the United States with a knife?

There is no US federal law that prevents you from taking a knife on a train, but each state has laws governing traveling with knives, and train lines have rules regarding taking knives and other sharp objects aboard. Some rail lines allow knives of certain sizes, while others ban them completely.

Travel by rail in the United States is very restrictive with carrying knives. This is mostly because no federal law guides the policy, and states are allowed to impose their own rules. Individual train lines are also allowed to create their own policies to restrict the knives that can be carried on their trains.  

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Can You Take A Knife On A Train
Can You Take A Knife On A Train

Can You Take A Knife On A Train

If you’re planning on taking a knife on a train in the United States, there are a few things you need to know. First, it’s important to check with the specific train line you’ll be traveling on to see if they have any restrictions or prohibitions against knives. Some lines may allow certain types of knives, while others may not allow any knives at all.

If you’re allowed to bring a knife on the train, it’s important to make sure that it is securely stored and not easily accessible. The best way to do this is to keep it in your luggage, not your carry-on bag. You also want to ensure that the blade is properly covered so it can’t accidentally injure anyone.

Taking a knife on a train can be tricky, but as long as you’re prepared and follow the rules, you should be able to do it without any problems.

Can You Bring A Pocket Knife On A Train?

Can You Bring A Pocket Knife On A Train?
Can You Bring A Pocket Knife On A Train?

Some rail transport companies allow pocket knives or knives of certain sizes to be carried on their trains, while others completely ban them.

It is crucial to check with the individual train line to see if they have any specific rules about knives before taking one aboard. Some lines may prohibit any type of knife, while others may only allow small knives with a restriction on the blade length.

Additionally, many train stations have security checkpoints where all bags are screened. Be sure to check with the station beforehand to see if they have any restrictions on what types of items can be brought through the checkpoint.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you can bring a particular item on a train, it’s always best to check with the train line or station before traveling.

TIP: Traveling with knives can have some complexities on any public transport, making it important that you know the regulations for taking a knife on a ship. Find out more in the article below:
GUIDE: Taking A Knife On A Ship (Ocean & River Cruises)

Amtrak Knife Policy

Amtrak Knife Policy
Amtrak Knife Policy

Amtrak, the main rail transport operator in the USA, has a strict policy regarding knives and any other sharp objects being transported on their trains.

If you are planning on traveling with Amtrak, you need to make sure you comply with their rules regarding all forms of knives.

The company has scanning equipment at some of its stations, which scan both checked-in luggage and carry-on luggage to check for items that are not allowed to be carried. Not all carry-on luggage is checked at every station, which may enable people to take a knife aboard despite the company policy.

However, if you are discovered with a knife in your possession, it may be confiscated, and you may be requested to disembark the train at the next stop.

Can I Bring Sword To Amtrak?

The transporting of swords on Amtrak trains is covered in their prohibited items list, which is their standard policy for these items.

The prohibited items list for Amtrak stipulates that sharp objects, including swords specifically, are not allowed in carry-on luggage as well as checked-in luggage.

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TIP: Traveling with knives on a plane is becoming more difficult as stricter security measures are implemented in different countries and across airlines. Find out more in the article below:
GUIDE: Taking Knife On A Plane (Carry On & Checked Luggage)

Can I Bring EDC Knife To Amtrak?

Can I Bring EDC Knife To Amtrak?
Can I Bring EDC Knife To Amtrak?

Most people who carry EDC knives carry these knives on their person, usually in the form of a pocket knife. 

The Amtrak policy states that no knives of any sort are allowed in any luggage, but it does not mention knives carried on your person. One would think that the stipulation of no knives in carry-on or checked-in baggage carries forward to knives and other sharp objects carried on your person.

If you are carrying an EDC knife on your belt in obvious plain view, you are likely to draw attention to yourself, and security will likely stop you and prevent you from boarding with the knife.

An EDC pocket knife is less conspicuous and less threatening than a belt-size EDC knife, and you may get away with boarding the train with this kind of knife in your pocket. 

We do not recommend that you purposefully flout the rules, but some people forget that they carry a knife because they put the knife in their pocket by habit when they get dressed, just like putting on their shoes!

If the station where you are boarding has scanners, you may be stopped and asked to empty your pockets, which is when you discover that you brought your knife with you!

TIP: Taking a knife on a bus in the US requires knowing the rules in your own state and any state that will be your destination. Find out more in the article below:
Complete Guide: Taking Knife on a Bus in the United States

How To Carry Knife On A Train (Amtrak)

How To Carry Knife On A Train (Amtrak)
How To Carry Knife On A Train (Amtrak)

Amtrak policy states that you are not allowed to carry a knife or any other sharp object in either your carry-on or checked-in luggage.

This policy means that there is no method of carrying a knife on Amtrak that does not contravene their rules.

Taking a knife with you in your luggage is not recommended, even if the security checks are not as rigorous as those for air travel.

If your knife is discovered, you run the risk of not being allowed to board or having the knife confiscated.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carrying Knives on Trains

Q: What is the maximum blade length allowed on most trains?

A: The allowed blade length can vary depending on the train line and state laws. It’s important to check with the specific train line for their regulations on knife blade length.

Q: Can I carry a knife in my checked luggage on a train?

A: Policies regarding knives in checked luggage differ among train lines. Some may allow it under certain conditions, while others may prohibit it entirely.

Q: How should I securely store my knife if I’m allowed to bring it on a train?

A: If permitted, knives should be securely stored in a way that they are not easily accessible. This usually means keeping them in your checked luggage, with the blade properly covered to prevent accidents.

Q: What are the consequences of carrying a prohibited knife on a train?

A: If you’re found with a prohibited knife on a train, you could face confiscation of the knife, fines, or even legal action depending on the state law and train line policies. In some cases, you may be asked to disembark the train.

Q: Can I bring a knife for culinary purposes, like a chef’s knife, on a train?

A: While some train lines might allow knives for professional use, such as chef’s knives, in checked luggage, it’s crucial to confirm with the specific train line. You may need to provide proof of your profession or the purpose of the knife.

Q: Are folding knives treated differently than fixed-blade knives on trains?

A: Folding knives, especially smaller pocket knives, may be allowed on some train lines, whereas fixed-blade knives often face stricter regulations. However, this can vary widely, so checking the specific train line’s policy is necessary.

Q: Is it possible to mail my knife to my destination instead of carrying it on a train?

A: Mailing your knife can be a viable alternative. This method ensures you have your knife at your destination without the complications of carrying it on public transport. Be sure to follow postal service regulations for shipping knives.

Q: How do international train travel regulations regarding knives differ from those in the United States?

A: International train travel regulations can vary significantly. In some countries, knife carrying might be more strictly regulated. It’s important to research the knife laws of the specific countries you plan to travel through.

Q: Are utility knives or multitools with blades allowed on trains?

A: Utility knives and multitools might be allowed if the blade falls under the permissible size set by the train line. However, as with other types of knives, policies vary, so it’s important to check in advance.

Q: What should I do if I accidentally bring a knife to a train station?

A: If you realize you have a knife with you at a train station, approach a station official or security personnel and explain the situation. It’s better to declare it voluntarily than to be found with it during a security check.

Q: Are antique or collectible knives subject to the same rules on trains?

A: Yes, antique or collectible knives are generally subject to the same rules as other knives. If you’re traveling with such items, check the train line’s policy and consider alternative transport methods if necessary.


While the security checks are less intense when traveling by train, each state has rules for carrying knives in public and on public transport, which must be followed. Train lines also have rules regarding what they will or will not allow on their trains, even if the state allows you to carry a knife.

It is always important to check the policies of the train line you travel with to establish their policy around taking knives on their trains and follow these rules.

TIP: Disposing of old kitchen knives is never something that should be done casually. Check out the proven and safe tips on how to dispose of old knives in the article below:
5 Proven & Safe TIPS: How To Dispose Of Kitchen Knives