Thank you so much for your help! Very much apprecitead.Edited: 08 January 2013, 16:00
Although buses are available, the train is a much nicer alternative between Washington and Boston (with New York in between.) Amtrak Northeast Regional trains are fine. Amtrak Acela trains are slightly faster but much more expensive.
You won't check your bags on the train. There will be plenty of room for carry-ons. Amtrak never really checks weight and size. If you can carry (or wheel) it on, you're OK. Luggage racks, and space between seats, will be much larger than on planes. For Washington Union Station is the only station, and very much. New York Penn Station is a rabbit warren, but OK. In Boston you have a choice of South Station or Back Bay. Both are fine for your purposes. It's possible that your hotel will end up being nearer Back Bay Station.
Thank you and others so much!
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