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Joe Biden Rides Amtrak


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#1 PaulLev

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 10:51 PM

Biden rides Amtrak every day between Wilmington and Washington - did my heart good, shows he's not only in touch with people but the future...
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#2 Guest_Tony_*

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 06:43 AM

The question is, does that experience leave him with a positive or a negative feeling about Amtrak?

#3 Steve Manfred

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 10:42 AM

The question is, does that experience leave him with a positive or a negative feeling about Amtrak?


Since he's been doing it since 1972 and his son is on the Amtrak board of directors, I think it's safe to say he's pretty positive.

#4 MrFSS

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:09 AM

The question is, does that experience leave him with a positive or a negative feeling about Amtrak?


Since he's been doing it since 1972 and his son is on the Amtrak board of directors, I think it's safe to say he's pretty positive.


I wonder if, and if so, how much he has riden Amtrak anywhere but back and forth on the NEC?

#5 wayman

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:41 AM

The question is, does that experience leave him with a positive or a negative feeling about Amtrak?


Since he's been doing it since 1972 and his son is on the Amtrak board of directors, I think it's safe to say he's pretty positive.


I wonder if, and if so, how much he has riden Amtrak anywhere but back and forth on the NEC?


I would love to hear he took Amtrak from Wilmington to Springfield this week, but somehow I rather doubt it!
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#6 Guest_Tony_*

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:38 PM

I would love to hear he took Amtrak from Wilmington to Springfield this week, but somehow I rather doubt it!


I am quite sure that he will not be taking Amtrak anywhere for a while.

#7 Guest_Tony_*

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:41 PM

Since he's been doing it since 1972 and his son is on the Amtrak board of directors, I think it's safe to say he's pretty positive.


Well, if he hasn't done anything meaningfully positive for Amtrak yet as a Senator, I doubt he will if VP.

#8 planetcadillac

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:52 PM

Since he's been doing it since 1972 and his son is on the Amtrak board of directors, I think it's safe to say he's pretty positive.


Well, if he hasn't done anything meaningfully positive for Amtrak yet as a Senator, I doubt he will if VP.


Well there is only so much one person can do in Washington especially for something like Amtrak. But suffice to say that being VP as well as his personal story and his son on the board of Amtrak well at the very least funding will not be cut.

If anything if Obama-Biden wins given the current energy crisis I think Amtrak's position will be improved. As the American psyche starts to shift away from limitless car driving Amtrak's chances can only improve.

I just read this morning that Charlotte's NC's own intra-city light rail is off to a fast start. They now project steady ridership of 18,000 per day. A figure that they had originally projected to meet in 2025!

Look out for Biden's speech at the DNC convention in Denver on Wednesday. He may and likely will mention Amtrak in his bio simply because riding the train has been an integral part of his life for so many years. Then the world will be introduced to Amtrak at least the ones that didn't already know.
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#9 PaulLev

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:06 PM

Since he's been doing it since 1972 and his son is on the Amtrak board of directors, I think it's safe to say he's pretty positive.


Well, if he hasn't done anything meaningfully positive for Amtrak yet as a Senator, I doubt he will if VP.


I predict completely the opposite - that if Biden is VP (which I expect he will), that rail travel in this country will be revolutionized - high speed, reliable Amtrak between all major cities, and across the nation, within a decade... (or, at least, work will be started on all of that, and in some cases, ready to go).

By the way, Tony, is your view of Biden and Amtrak perhaps colored by your politics?
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#10 PaulLev

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:07 PM

Look out for Biden's speech at the DNC convention in Denver on Wednesday. He may and likely will mention Amtrak in his bio simply because riding the train has been an integral part of his life for so many years. Then the world will be introduced to Amtrak at least the ones that didn't already know.


Excellent point!
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#11 sky12065

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:09 PM

Biden rides Amtrak every day between Wilmington and Washington - did my heart good, shows he's not only in touch with people but the future...

There ya go! No need to look any further into the presidential candidates' qualifications! Joe Biden takes the short trip to and from work and that no doubt makes Obama qualified to become president! :blink:

Common folks, Joe Biden nor any other politician's verbal support for Amtrak will accomplish much without the public's demand... OUR demand for an improved passenger rail system.

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#12 PaulLev

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 02:41 PM

Biden rides Amtrak every day between Wilmington and Washington - did my heart good, shows he's not only in touch with people but the future...

There ya go! No need to look any further into the presidential candidates' qualifications! Joe Biden takes the short trip to and from work and that no doubt makes Obama qualified to become president! :blink:

Common folks, Joe Biden nor any other politician's verbal support for Amtrak will accomplish much without the public's demand... OUR demand for an improved passenger rail system.


You're wrong on several points, Sky:

1. Biden does more than give Amtrak "verbal support" - he rides it every day! And his son is on its Board.

2. Who said anything about not looking at the candidates' other qualifications?

3. Who said anything about not, as a member of the public, continuing to push for a better rail system?

By the way, in case you haven't heard, McCain is in favor of killing Amtrak - and putting all of its service in the hands of private enterprise.
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#13 transit54

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 03:26 PM

Common folks, Joe Biden nor any other politician's verbal support for Amtrak will accomplish much without the public's demand... OUR demand for an improved passenger rail system.


Yes and no. I work in public transit which faces many of the same dilemmas as Amtrak does. The simple reality is that my agency's ridership is up tremendously, the public is clamoring for increased service, and the most we were able to do is cut some frequency and adjust some fares because fuel prices have increased our operating costs so much. It all comes down to funding, which comes from the government. We don't have the funds to go out and just start a new route without that kind of support - it doesn't matter how many indicate their demand by riding our busses (that being said, such demand will indicate where we will increase frequency and expand capacity).

If there's a strong advocate for Amtrak/public transit in the White House, there will be some centralized figure to advocate for funding, and it will happen. Combined with the advocates in Congress for increased transit and rail service, I'm optimistic that a lot of progress could be made.

We can continue to buy tickets and ride Amtrak and demand can be through the roof, but if the White House and Congress are made up of people unwilling to appropriate Amtrak money or fund the purchase of new equipment, nothing will happen.

That being said, you are right that we need to demand an improved passenger rail system. That's why I'm voting for individuals (at all levels of government) that understand and will advocate for Amtrak. Not that that's the only thing I'm voting on, of course, but strangely enough those who tend to support Amtrak also tend to advocate other policies in line with what I believe.

Edited by rnizlek, 24 August 2008 - 03:28 PM.


#14 sky12065

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 03:49 PM

Biden rides Amtrak every day between Wilmington and Washington - did my heart good, shows he's not only in touch with people but the future...

There ya go! No need to look any further into the presidential candidates' qualifications! Joe Biden takes the short trip to and from work and that no doubt makes Obama qualified to become president! :blink:

Common folks, Joe Biden nor any other politician's verbal support for Amtrak will accomplish much without the public's demand... OUR demand for an improved passenger rail system.


You're wrong on several points, Sky:

1. Biden does more than give Amtrak "verbal support" - he rides it every day! And his son is on its Board.
What's your point? I drive my car every day and my wife rides with me. Does that mean I support higher gas prices any more that Biden's short train rides and his son being on Amtrak's board mean that Obama supports higher funding? Whoops! Guess I am wrong here and you do have a point since Obama represents the politics of tax and spend. My bad!

2. Who said anything about not looking at the candidates' other qualifications?
The statement I made was strictly reactive to what you stated and not directed toward you personally or any other specific individual for that matter. My apologies if you misinterputed or misunderstood my words.

3. Who said anything about not, as a member of the public, continuing to push for a better rail system?
Nobody that I know of stated it nor did I say anybody did! Is your intention here to tell me I don't have a right to express an impersonnal or non-specific statement or opinion if it differs from your own(?), or did I misinterput or misunderstand your words?

By the way, in case you haven't heard, McCain is in favor of killing Amtrak - and putting all of its service in the hands of private enterprise.
This is an instance where you're somewhat right and where McCain is another Bush. Neither of these politicans are Amtrak fans! However, your point here is moot because despite Bush's continual position on Amtrak, Amtrak has not been "killed" by a long shot and it ain't about to happen under McCain either... especially with a democratic congress!

In conclusing I will state that I believe that we want the same thing for Amtrak, to thrive and survive, but I also want our country to thrive and survive too! Vote for who you chose and I will too!


"So much track and so little time" or is it "So much time and so little money"
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#15 sky12065

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 04:08 PM

Common folks, Joe Biden nor any other politician's verbal support for Amtrak will accomplish much without the public's demand... OUR demand for an improved passenger rail system.


Yes and no. I work in public transit which faces many of the same dilemmas as Amtrak does. The simple reality is that my agency's ridership is up tremendously, the public is clamoring for increased service, and the most we were able to do is cut some frequency and adjust some fares because fuel prices have increased our operating costs so much. It all comes down to funding, which comes from the government. We don't have the funds to go out and just start a new route without that kind of support - it doesn't matter how many indicate their demand by riding our busses (that being said, such demand will indicate where we will increase frequency and expand capacity).

If there's a strong advocate for Amtrak/public transit in the White House, there will be some centralized figure to advocate for funding, and it will happen. Combined with the advocates in Congress for increased transit and rail service, I'm optimistic that a lot of progress could be made.

We can continue to buy tickets and ride Amtrak and demand can be through the roof, but if the White House and Congress are made up of people unwilling to appropriate Amtrak money or fund the purchase of new equipment, nothing will happen.

That being said, you are right that we need to demand an improved passenger rail system. That's why I'm voting for individuals (at all levels of government) that understand and will advocate for Amtrak. Not that that's the only thing I'm voting on, of course, but strangely enough those who tend to support Amtrak also tend to advocate other policies in line with what I believe.

Well stated! To be brief however, all I'm going to say is that I wished that I could say the same as you did in the last sentence above. But unfortunately I do not find that those who tend to support Amtrak (which I do) also tend to advocate other policies in line with what my beliefs are or what I feel is best for this country!

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#16 the_traveler

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 09:16 PM

By the way, in case you haven't heard, McCain is in favor of killing Amtrak - and putting all of its service in the hands of private enterprise.
This is an instance where you're somewhat right and where McCain is another Bush. Neither of these politicans are Amtrak fans! However, your point here is moot because despite Bush's continual position on Amtrak, Amtrak has not been "killed" by a long shot and it ain't about to happen under McCain either... especially with a democratic congress!

In conclusing I will state that I believe that we want the same thing for Amtrak, to thrive and survive, but I also want our country to thrive and survive too! Vote for who you chose and I will too!

Maybe McCain may not kill Amtrak, but look at this example:

The SL used to go directly to Phoenix, but then UP stopped using the line west of Phoenix (and I think they ceased maintaining it too), so Amtrak discontinued service to Phoenix and now use Maricopa as their "Phoenix" stop. (Try to forget that there is no transportation to or from Maricopa to Phoenix!)

Remember that John McCain is the SENATOR FROM ARIZONA! (You ever hear the word PORK BARREL?) I'm sure that if McCain wanted to please his own state voters, he would have pushed for Amtrak to serve his STATE'S CAPITAL CITY! And he might also attach a spending bill to some other bill to maintain that track in order to provide service.

I don't recall him doing either one! (BTW - I used to live in AZ for 7 years and didn't vote for him.)
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

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#17 RailFanLNK

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 10:42 PM

Last night while watching CNN, they consistently had advertisements about the DNC in Denver this week. Denver Union Station has been prominently displayed in the ad. Have any of you seen it? It made me feel good cuz:
1. I go there, been there, travelled through there all on Amtrak.
2. Biden is pro-Amtrak, PERIOD!!
3. Friends just left here (my home) and are planning on booking a trip on Amtrak. For 2 1/2 years, everyone has nodded
thier heads about taking the train, but now I have people actually doing it.
4. I will be voting Democratic this election and the only way I wouldn't be voting Democratic is if they would have fielded
Charles Manson as thier candidate.

I have travelled on the California Zephyr, Lakeshore Limited, Carolinian, Acela, Capital Limited, Southwest Chief, Pacific Surfliner, Missouri River Runners, Texas Eagle, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Hiawatha Service and the Cardinal.


#18 Joel N. Weber II

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 10:45 PM

I predict completely the opposite - that if Biden is VP (which I expect he will), that rail travel in this country will be revolutionized - high speed, reliable Amtrak between all major cities, and across the nation, within a decade... (or, at least, work will be started on all of that, and in some cases, ready to go).


What definition of major city do you have in mind? The 35 or so biggest primary census areas, each with 1.6 million and greater populations? The 54 or so biggest primary census areas with 1 million and greater populations?

If the amount of money we're willing to spend on new track is half of what we're currently spending on the military (which is many times the current federal transportation budget), I'm skeptical that by the time some of the money is spent on intracity transportation we'll have enough money to even link all the 35 biggest cities into a national high speed rail network within the next decade.

Edited by Joel N. Weber II, 24 August 2008 - 10:45 PM.


#19 PetalumaLoco

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:02 PM

Last night while watching CNN, they consistently had advertisements about the DNC in Denver this week. Denver Union Station has been prominently displayed in the ad. Have any of you seen it?


I saw the station today during the Chris Matthews show, he was in the plaza and you could see the station in the background. I checked google earth and saw that it's not far from the Pepsi center convention site.
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#20 PaulLev

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:47 PM

Biden rides Amtrak every day between Wilmington and Washington - did my heart good, shows he's not only in touch with people but the future...

There ya go! No need to look any further into the presidential candidates' qualifications! Joe Biden takes the short trip to and from work and that no doubt makes Obama qualified to become president! :blink:

Common folks, Joe Biden nor any other politician's verbal support for Amtrak will accomplish much without the public's demand... OUR demand for an improved passenger rail system.


You're wrong on several points, Sky:

1. Biden does more than give Amtrak "verbal support" - he rides it every day! And his son is on its Board.
What's your point? I drive my car every day and my wife rides with me. Does that mean I support higher gas prices any more that Biden's short train rides and his son being on Amtrak's board mean that Obama supports higher funding? Whoops! Guess I am wrong here and you do have a point since Obama represents the politics of tax and spend. My bad!

2. Who said anything about not looking at the candidates' other qualifications?
The statement I made was strictly reactive to what you stated and not directed toward you personally or any other specific individual for that matter. My apologies if you misinterputed or misunderstood my words.

3. Who said anything about not, as a member of the public, continuing to push for a better rail system?
Nobody that I know of stated it nor did I say anybody did! Is your intention here to tell me I don't have a right to express an impersonnal or non-specific statement or opinion if it differs from your own(?), or did I misinterput or misunderstand your words?

By the way, in case you haven't heard, McCain is in favor of killing Amtrak - and putting all of its service in the hands of private enterprise.
This is an instance where you're somewhat right and where McCain is another Bush. Neither of these politicans are Amtrak fans! However, your point here is moot because despite Bush's continual position on Amtrak, Amtrak has not been "killed" by a long shot and it ain't about to happen under McCain either... especially with a democratic congress!

In conclusing I will state that I believe that we want the same thing for Amtrak, to thrive and survive, but I also want our country to thrive and survive too! Vote for who you chose and I will too!


:) I'll skip the fancy color of the font, and just reply to your points here in plain text:

1. My point is that driving a car is in no way unusual for a Senator, but taking Amtrak every day is - and therefore shows an appreciation and support of train travel.

2. You wrote in your original: "There ya go! No need to look any further into the presidential candidates' qualifications! Joe Biden takes the short trip to and from work and that no doubt makes Obama qualified to become president!" I think your meaning was crystal clear.

3. What on Earth gives you the impression that I was saying you do not have the right to express yourself? To the contrary, I think it's good to have discussions such as these, so errors can be pointed out. By the way, as a professor and author, I am known as a staunch supporter of The First Amendment.

But I do agree that we both want the same thing for Amtrak, and our country, and that everyone should vote for whomever they please.

Edited by PaulLev, 24 August 2008 - 11:50 PM.

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