Press Release

Welch and Blackburn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Require Baby Changing Stations on Amtrak Trains 

May 14, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As America celebrated Mother’s Day this weekend, U.S. Senators Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) unveiled the bipartisan Baby Changing on Board Act, legislation that would require each Amtrak train to be outfitted with baby changing stations in all accessible restrooms and to post adequate signage indicating their availability. The bill directs Amtrak to utilize current funding streams to install baby changing stations on new cars until Amtrak can meet a minimum service requirement. 

“A lack of safe and sanitary spaces for parents to care for their children while traveling can make any journey more challenging. Longer train rides can be especially stressful for parents who need to utilize baby changing stations more than once when riding the rails. While some trains are equipped with these crucial facilities, Amtrak can—and must—do more to increase access to these private, sanitary spaces to care for their children,” said Senator Welch. “This bipartisan bill aims to ensure a smooth ride for rail passengers with infants by equipping Amtrak trains with necessary facilities that improve health and quality of service.” 

“Parents and families of small children need to know they have access to reliable changing options when they travel,” said Senator Blackburn. “This bill to ensure accessible, safe, and comfortable changing facilities onboard Amtrak trains is a step forward for families and for Congressional oversight of Amtrak.” 

The Baby Changing on Board Act is endorsed by A Better Balance, Moms Rising, and the National Women’s Law Center. 

“Parents deserve a safe and sanitary place to change their baby’s diaper while traveling or commuting. The Baby-Changing on Board Act will ensure parents riding on Amtrak are able to change their baby’s diaper or attend to their baby’s medical needs,” said Elizabeth Gedmark, A Better Balance Vice President. “This bill is a step forward in creating a family-friendly infrastructure that welcomes parents and babies, and anticipates their needs instead of making them feel like they are unwanted or invisible. We hope to see swift passage of this important legislation.” 

In 2023 alone, Amtrak provided more than 28.6 million passenger trips and operated routes connecting 46 states, Washington D.C. and two Canadian provinces. The average duration of a trip on Amtrak’s most traveled route, the Northeast Regional, can last between 3.5 and 8 hours, from D.C. to New York and from D.C. to Boston, respectively. Amtrak’s longest route, connecting Los Angeles to Chicago, can take passengers 65 hours to travel. Parents and families who are traveling often need to change a newborn child’s diaper every two hours, making accessible, safe, and comfortable changing facilities essential.  

Learn more about the Baby Changing on Board Act.  

Read the full text of the bill.