Joe Biden Commuted on Amtrak for Years — Now He Will Ride the Train to His Inauguration

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Joe Biden has loved Amtrak since he was a young senator commuting between his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. Soon, he will hop on the train to mark the start of his new job as the 46th President of the United States.

Biden — once dubbed “Amtrak Joe” — will ride the train from the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station in Wilmington to Union Station with his family on Jan. 19, the day before he is set to be sworn in as president, CNN reported. After his train ride, Biden will then spend the night in a hotel before the big ceremony, CNN noted, before officially moving into the White House.

A spokeswoman for Amtrak declined to comment on a request from Travel + Leisure for details of the trip. The inauguration will see significantly fewer crowds and heightened security due to the coronavirus pandemic as well as last week’s deadly riot at the Capitol building. Local leaders, including Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, have advised spectators to stay home.

This wouldn’t be the first historic moment Biden accomplished by train: He left Washington, D.C. on one four years ago on his last day as vice president, the network noted. 

He’s definitely no stranger to Amtrak either. Biden commuted daily on the rail line to and from the capital after his first wife and young daughter died in a car crash in 1972, the Associated Press reported. He estimates he’s traveled more than 2.1 million miles of track in his life. 

During his campaign, Biden called the train his “favorite means of transportation.”

“It’s not as fast as a helicopter, but I made a lot of family friends on Amtrak,” the President-elect has said, adding, “That train brought me back to my home base every night… It kept me grounded.”

Amtrak has undertaken extensive health and safety efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, including requiring both employees and customers to wear face masks, equipping trains with onboard filtration systems, partnering with Lysol to use their EPA-approved disinfectant solutions, and allowing customers to see how full trains are when they book.

While Amtrak trains offer a great commuting option (just ask Joe), they can also make for an exciting socially-distanced vacation, especially in the rail line’s private rooms — think in-room toilets and showers and your own private window to watch the world fly by.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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