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Ted Widmer

Taking a Train Ride Through Joe Biden's America

Amtrak Joe famously made his daily commute to D.C. from Delaware when he was a senator. Abraham Lincoln braved those tracks, too.

We belong together.

We belong together.

Photographer: The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Amtrak Joe” is on his way to the White House today, having arrived in Washington on Tuesday evening, ahead of his inauguration. Because of safety concerns, President-elect Biden flew from Delaware to Washington instead of taking the train, as once envisioned. But every curve along the 129.5-mile railroad route that he famously rode thousands of times as a U.S. senator must be seared in his memory. For such devotion, Amtrak named its Wilmington station after him in 2011.

In 2017, he took the same 90-minute train ride home after attending the inauguration of Donald Trump. In a CNN report, he spoke movingly about looking out the window, at the country scrolling past. He estimated frequent-traveler mileage most of us can only dream of: more than 2 million miles, over 8,200 round-trips of 259 miles each.