WASHINGTON (AP) – President-elect Joe Biden will no longer drive an Amtrak train to Washington for his inauguration due to security concerns, a person familiar with the decision said on Wednesday.
The president-elect’s decision reflects growing concerns about potential threats in the Capitol and the United States on the eve of Biden’s January 20 inauguration.
Security in Washington has grown significantly in the run-up to the post-violent uprising in the US Capitol last week by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump and the FBI warned over the weekend of plans for armed protests in all 50 state capitals and in Washington, DC, in the days leading up to the event.
The person informed of Biden̵
Moving to give up the 90-minute train ride from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington was probably not easy for the president-elect. Biden’s preference for the train during his 36-year Senate career was such a central part of his public figure that he rode to Amtrak’s home on his final day as vice president and used the train tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania. during the presidential campaign part of the effort to appeal to workers.
Biden became famous for running on the train, starting in his earliest days in the Senate, when he came up with the idea of going home almost every night to help raise his young sons after his wife and young daughter died in a car crash in 1972 on Amtrak – and the friends he made among train conductors and staff as a regular – was included in a short film aired during the Democratic National Convention last August.
Train travel is not the only security development around discovery.
On Wednesday, Biden received a briefing from FBI, Secret Service and his national security team about the potential for further violence in the coming days.
“In the week following the attack on Congress by a mob that included domestic terrorists and violent extremists, the nation continued to learn more about the threat to our democracy and the potential for further violence in the coming days, as in the National Capital Region and cities across the country.” said in a statement by Biden’s transition team. “This is a challenge that the president-elect and his team take very seriously.”
Across Washington, but especially around the Capitol, the National Mall, and some nearby federal buildings, security has increased significantly, with scalable walls and metal gates erected, streets closed, and a new contingent of National Guard troops stationed in the Capitol.