March 13th, 2009
01:45 PM ET
13 years ago

'Amtrak Joe' gives rail service a boost

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Vice President Joe Biden said Friday he holds summer parties at his home for Amtrak train conductors."](CNN) – “Mr. Amtrak,” better known as Vice President Joe Biden, announced stimulus funding for Amtrak trains Friday at Union Station in Washington.

$1.3 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be allocated to the inter-city passenger train service which employs nearly 19,000 people.

Alongside a “gang” of rail supporters like Republican Sen. Arlen Specter and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry, the vice president and Amtrak advocate announced that federal funding will be used to improve safety measures, rebuild passenger rail cars, and handle operating costs.

"I'm tired of apologizing for help for Amtrak. ... It is an absolute national treasure and necessity,” Biden affirmed, reminding the crowd of reporters, “after 9/11, the only thing functioning was this rail system.”

Biden has been a daily rail commuter for over 37 years, traveling from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware to Washington, DC during his terms in the US Senate. Referred to by railway personnel as “Amtrak’s #1 customer,” Biden informed the crowd he hosts the commuter trains’ conductors to his Wilmington home every year for a summer party.


Filed under: Arlen Specter • Joe Biden • John Kerry
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. liz

    Th train system in this country was shamefully destroyed to create the highway system. Now it takes 10 hours to take a train from LA to San Francisco and there is NO train between LA and Vegas, only a 4 lane highway. That is RIDICULOUS. All of those cars on Fridays and Saturdays could be off the road if there was a train to ride...

    March 13, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. New Yorker

    Yeah Joe, keep pumping taxpayer money into that dinosaur that should have been dead by now. Oh yeah, keep funding with other people's money, people who will never even use it.

    March 13, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Doug, Allentown PA

    Pam for America & Obama...

    The only reason AmTrak is cheaper is because it is HIGHLY subsidized. Imagine if the government bought your gas, paid your tolls, paid your car insurance, and half of your car payment.

    I bet it would be a lot cheaper to drive huh? That is what it is like riding on AmTrak.

    March 13, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Chris in Va.

    You right wing nuts need to grow up, your spoiled brat sniveling is getting pretty old.

    March 13, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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