- Joe Biden and Boris Johnson reportedly got on trains, The Telegraph reported on Sunday.
- In the first transatlantic appeal of the new president, Johnson asked about Biden’s travels to Amtrak.
- Biden reportedly planned to visit Britain on his first presidential trip outside North America.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on the phone Saturday night, with some of the talks focusing on mutual love for train travel.
Johnson asked Biden about his travels with Amtrak, according to a Sunday report in The Telegraph.
Biden, sometimes referred to as Amtrak Joe, traveled from Delaware to Washington by train for 36 years. CNN estimates that it has taken about 8,000 return trips on the same route.
Biden planned to take the train on the morning of its opening, but changed his schedule due to safety concerns, according to the Associated Press. He promised a “railway revolution”
Biden and Johnson’s discussion of train travel has led to a broader discussion of green energy and climate change, according to The Telegraph.
The official testimony of Biden-Johnson’s first call focused on co-operation between the two countries in the fight against climate change, COVID-19 and “global health security”.
The White House said: “The president has conveyed his intention to strengthen special relations between our countries and revitalize transatlantic ties, emphasizing NATO’s critical role in our collective defense and shared values.”
—Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 1, 2019
The conversation with the train also did not fall into the official reading of the UK government, which said that the leaders “are discussing the benefits of a potential free trade deal.”
Johnson “reiterated his intention to resolve existing trade issues as soon as possible,” the official statement said.
Read more: Meet Joe Biden, the imperfect leader of America
On Friday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki declined to schedule trade talks between the two allies, according to a transcript of her comments.
She said Biden and security adviser Jake Sullivan saw the deal as important because “everything we do should help advance working families and the American middle class.”
Psaki added: “But at this point in time, we are working to control the pandemic, to provide economic relief to the American public. Of course, we can do many things at once, but these are our main priorities at this point.”
Saturday’s call was Biden’s first transatlantic invitation since taking office Wednesday.