Think Presidents and armoured cars and private jets are sure to spring to mind. But US President Joe Biden breaks the mold. For many years now he has gone by the affectionate name of ‘Amtrak Joe’ so how did he come by this unusual nickname?
You need to go back to 1972 when Joe lost his first wife Neilia and daughter Naomi in a tragic car accident. His sons Beau and Hunter were also injured in the accident but went on to make a full recovery though Beau died of a brain tumour in 2015.
As a single parent and senator, Joe rode on an Amtrak train every day from his home in Delaware to Washington D.C. and back so he could say goodnight to his two young sons. To do this day, he continues the journey on the USA’s popular rail network.
Biden has ridden the Amtrak every day for the past 36 years, travelling over 2 million miles, so he’s become a bit of an expert on the route and the trains that run on it.
No surprisingly, he’s a massive fan of train travel, helping Amtrak secure a $2 billion loan in 2016 to update their trains and stations. In the Huffington Post he blogged about why America needs trains and in 2011, Amtrak even named their Wilmington Amtrak station after him.
His love affair with Amtrak continues today with supporters noting that just hours after declaring his candidacy for President this year, he could be seen quietly riding home on the Amtrak. While he now resides in the White House and won’t be getting the train for a while, he’ll aways have his nickname Amtrak Joe.