The next president of USA has been an avid train commuter for much of his professional life. The nick name "Amtrak Joe" he got has been due to his affiliation with the Amtrak –the popular rail service. Incidentally, the relationship had begun with a personal tragedy causing him to be a daily commuter from day one as a young senator –in fact the sixth youngest of them all-at age 29.
The deaths of his beloved wife and daughter in a car accident and the need to be with his two sons had left him no options but to come to them every evening from his duties as a senator. Being compelled to be with his two little boys aged 5 and 3 , both of whom were critically injured in the tragedy, Biden would choose to catch the early morning train to Washington DC and back again in the late evening one . and the habit continued for 36 long years.
It has been an affair that made Amtrak name a train station after him, and one that still endures although his train travels have not been as frequent as they used to be ever since his vice presidency began in 2008 .
According to him much of the milestones in his life have a connection with the train. It was the Amtrak that took both Obama and Biden for their inauguration in 2008, took him back home to Delaware when their terms were over in 2016 and not surprisingly Joe Biden was spotted boarding his beloved Amtrak soon after he declared that he plans to run for president in January 2020.As to how he would travel to Washington for his own inauguration would not be too surprising, given his record over the years.
It’s said that he had travelled more than 2 million miles, doing the 110 mile daily journey back and forth for three decades. It’s a history of totally more than 8000 round trips.
Throughout his career as a politician, as vice president and before that as a senator Biden campaigned hard for improved investments on America’s railway network. Stories speak about how he would rush to catch the morning train to Washington –a full 90 minute journey and at times the train would wait for its famous traveler till he rushed back after dropping kids to school, under the excuse of ‘technical delays’. For all his life as senator he would catch the 7.46am Metro liner every day and get on board the 5.54pm train leaving Washington DC in the same evening.
Promises to keep
For Biden, once called as the ‘poorest man in Congress’, train was the primary mode of transportation, during the entirety of his six terms as a senator. Biden once promised that the Obama-era would be the most train friendly administration in the USA ever. He has another chance to prove that his’ would be better, as the 46th president.(KS)
Photo credit Biden's & Amtrak websites