Today is President’s Day 2021. To mark the occasion, we’ve taken a look at why US presidents love trains.
President Biden – 20 January 2021 to present
At a campaign rally in December 2019, the would-be President said: ‘My administration will spark the second great railroad revolution to propel our nation’s infrastructure into the future and help solve the climate emergency.’ So the future is looking bright for US trains and railroads.
President Obama – 2009-2017
Before he took up office, the President-elect rode on a special train, the Obama Express, from Philadelphia to Washington. This was part of a route taken by his political hero Abraham Lincoln to his inauguration in 1861. Obama was accompanied by his wife Michelle, Vice President elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill.
President Clinton – 1993- 2001
Like would-be presidents before him, Bill Clinton liked to travel on the campaign trail by rail to meet would-be voters. The sheer size of the US makes this impossible for most campaigns but travelling by train for any-would-be President signifies how down to earth they are.
President Bush – 1989-1993
President George Bush Senior loved trains. When he died in 2018, a UP 4141 locomotive was bought out of storage. This locomotive formed part of his funeral train which ran from Spring to College Station in Texas on December 6.
President Kennedy – 1961-1963
Presidents and would-be presidents throughout the years have enjoyed whistle-stop tours of states onboard a train. President John F Kennedy particularly liked this way of meeting the public.
Many presidents like to hire private trains to run ‘campaign specials’ because trains are great places to make speeches. And Kennedy would pull into a station on the train, stand on the back of a train and talk to the crowds on the platform.