President-elect Joe Biden could return to the nation’s capital for his inauguration ceremony the way he long bridged his life at home and his job in politics: On an Amtrak train from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, DC. It would be a fitting moment for the man who took roughly 8,000 round trips on that same route during his time as senator and vice president — earning him the moniker “Amtrak Joe” — and who four years ago left Washington by train on his final day as vice president.
Biden’s inauguration team is eyeing a rail arrival as one of a number of plans being discussed for the January celebration, Democrats familiar with the planning told CNN.
As a frequent Amtrak and rail passenger, I certainly hope he is able to do this. It appears the traditional visit to the White House to meet the sitting Prez will not happen. So, Joe ought to do it his way!
A return trip to Washington in January would be a full-circle moment for Biden, who left Washington in 2017 by train on the day President Donald Trump was inaugurated.
“I have made over — they actually calculated it, the conductors — 8,200 round trips, over 2 million miles on Amtrak,” Biden told CNN in an interview then. “Two hundred and fifty nine miles round trip a day, not every day, but on average 217 days a year. This is my family, and this is why I wanted to go home the way I came.”But the point I would like to make is quite simple. This is a man who is practical and family oriented. He does not need to feed his ego with helicopters and limos, or fancy golf resorts, and bankrupt businesses.
As you know, I love the train, and try to use public transportation as much as possible. I love the Eurail Pass, and the JR Shinkansen in Japan. But I also have enjoyed Amtrak numerous times, both locally, and cross country.
On the east coast, the Amtrak and regional rail network is more abundant, distances between destinations are closer. When I am on the east coast, I find myself on the train and metros more often than the west coast. It is a bit more like the European rail network.
And here is a new train route: The Rockies to the Red Rocks journey, set to start in August 2021, will take passengers on a two-day ride from Denver to Moab, Utah, winding through the Rocky Mountains and Utah’s gorgeous natural arches. It makes an overnight stop in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, a town known for its hot springs and rugged Rocky Mountain views. The train will be part of the Rocky Mountaineer, which normally traverses Canada in both directions.
News flash: With the riots on Jan. 6, this plan was cancelled for safety purposes.
Though President Biden will eventually occupy the White House, the awareness of using the train for commuting has increased. Maybe he and the Congress will fund more public transportation projects. Just think if we had spent the $$ on public transportation rather than that silly wall.