It was just a couple of weeks ago when we asked you to "Lend Your Support to Allowing Dogs & Cats on Amtrak." The good news is that the bill we asked you to support has passed. While the bureaucrats slowly set up the program, you can get your companion animals ready to be great passengers.
Train on Local Trains
Our Poppy is a subway pro. We take her on the MBTA often enough to keep her acclimatized to the noise, crowded conditions, and movement of the trains. But, as someone who has ridden trains along the Northeast corridor, I know that the motion of those trains is not exactly the same as subway sways.
How about Salem as a first trip? It's a fairly short, half hour ride with lots to do when you get there. (In summer, there is also a ferry to Salem which can be a great way to get a dog ready for boat rides.)
If that works out, you could try Newburyport for the next destination – it takes a little more than an hour to reach and should be a good test.
It would be a good idea for us to get Poppy used to riding in her Sherpa Pet Carrier because we usually travel off-peak on the subway and can hold her in a lap or in our arms.
CapeFLYER Is Pet Friendly
If a trip to Cape Cod is more to your liking, you and your dog or cat can ride the CapeFLYER to one of its stops, once the train resumes for the summer season. Pets ride free aboard this popular service. And, I have to wonder if the pet option is one of the reasons it was an immediate success.
New York, Portland, and Philadelphia Here We Come!
Once we are allowed to take Poppy with us, we'll be on board for three of our favorite car-free destinations: New York City, Philadelphia, and Portland, Maine.
The Downeaster to Portland should be one of the first test routes considering how dog-friendly that city happens to be. And, we look forward to spending more time in New York and Philadelphia.
Where will you go by train with your favorite companion animal?
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: istockphoto for the traveling dog image. Trains are courtesy of the Massachusetts Office of Tourism used under this creative commons license.