Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be leaving Washington the same way he entered it: by Amtrak.
In a tweet sent Tuesday, the outgoing vice president wrote, “Jill and I will head home to Delaware the same way I have for 44 years: by train.”
Jan 20, Jill and I will head home to Delaware the same way I have for 44 years: by train. Serving this country has been our greatest honor. pic.twitter.com/D0g2rEvE9R
— Vice President Biden (@VP) January 10, 2017
Biden’s loyalties to Amtrak took shape during his time as a freshman senator from Delaware.
In the wake of a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of his first wife and infant daughter in December 1972, only a few weeks after he first won election to the Senate, Biden contemplated giving up his seat to instead stay home with his sons, Beau and Hunter.
Eventually, he opted for a different plan: a daily commute that would take him by train from Delaware to Washington, D.C., in order for him to be home with his sons at night after work. This day-to-day travel lasted throughout Biden’s 36-year Senate career, earning him the nickname “Amtrak Joe.”
One of Biden’s most high-profile commutes came in 2009 when he traveled by train with then President-elect Barack Obama to D.C. three days before they took the oath of office. The action was inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s journey by rail to the capital before his own inaugural festivities in 1861.
Even though his daily trips ended after he took the vice presidential office, Biden has continued to advocate increased funding and improvements for America’s railways.
The Wilmington Amtrak station, which also serves local commuter trains, was officially renamed the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Railroad Station in 2011 after its most well-known rider and supporter.
Aileen Chuang contributed to this report.