Biden Kicks off Stimulus-funded Renovation at His Favorite Train Station

By Gorman Gorman

May 4, 2009 6:28pm

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: Vice President Biden touted the stimulus bill and defended investment in the nation’s rail system in remarks this morning at the official kick off of the restoration and renovation of the Wilmington train station. More than 700,000 passengers use the Wilmington train station every year, but none more famous than the vice president. Biden’s connection to Amtrak is well-known – he took the train back and forth between Wilmington and Washington for several decades, over 7,000 round trips, as a senator and still uses the train to get back there even know as vice president. Biden, who spent the weekend at his Wilmington home, said today that the last three weeks were the longest stretch he has gone, since he was 32 years old, without taking an Amtrak train. "It’s the first time ever I have been — three weekends in a row I haven’t been home," he said. The timetable for scheduled work at the Wilmington station was moved up because of $20 million in federal money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the White House said today. Biden said that he and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del) and Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del) worked hard to get funding for the station renovation but the project can begin now because of the stimulus bill and will create jobs. "We have no time to wait. We cannot wait. That’s what the Recovery Act is about," Biden said. As he has in the past, Biden defended federal subsidies for Amtrak and said there are greater subsidies put toward the airline industry and national highway system. The always-loquacious Blue Hen told a story about how every time a vote on Amtrak would come up in the Senate, former Sen. Bob Dole would put a note on the Republican desk in the Well of the Senate that explained what the vote was: "Vote to keep Biden in Delaware," the vice president said the note read. "That was his great sense of humor, because he pointed out if Amtrak ever stopped running, Biden would move to Washington. Then that would be hell for everyone. Well, I’m now in Washington," Biden said to laughter.
– Karen Travers

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus