Biden tells heartwarming but repeatedly debunked Amtrak story yet again

President rode trains from Washington DC to Delaware his entire career as US Senator

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 31 January 2023 15:07 EST

For ‘Amtrak Joe’ Biden, Baltimore rail tunnel visit is personal

Joe Biden has again told a heartwarming but repeatedly debunked story about Amtrak for at least the sixth time during his presidency.

Mr Biden on Monday repeated the tale of an Amtrak conductor who congratulated him when he was vice president for riding more miles on the train home to Delaware than onboard Air Force Two.

The story has been fact-checked multiple times by news organisations over the years.

Mr Biden’s claim that his Amtrak miles had surpassed those he flew onboard Air Force Two would only have happened after the conductor had died, according to The Associated Press.

And the conductor, a man named Angelo Negri, had retired from Amtrak around two decades before the conversation Mr Biden claims he had with him.

According to the AP, Mr Negri retired as a conductor in 1993 and died in May 2014.

Mr Biden took Amtrak between Delaware and Washington DC most days when he was a US senator so that he could hep raise his two sons. The trip is around 220 miles.

The president has also changed the year that he passed flying 1.2 million miles, from his “fourth of fifth year” as vice president, which would be 2012 0r 2013, to his seventh year in the job, which would have been around 2015.

He has also said that the conversation took place as he rode the train back to Delaware to see his sick mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, who died in 2010.

Mr Biden told a toned-down version of the story on Monday in Baltimore as he touted the $4bn from his $1.2 trillion infrastructure law that will be used to build replacement rail tunnels in the city.

“When I was vice president, I flew over a million miles on Air Force Two. And I was going home … as vice president, and one of the conductors said to me, ‘Hey, Joe, big deal, a million whatever, 200 —’ he said, ‘You said have over a million miles on Amtrak.’ I said, ‘How the hell do you know that?’ And they added it up,” Mr Biden said.

The president also said at the event that he rode with engineers “about 15 per cent of the time” and had been given “a key to get in the back” when he stopped riding regularly.

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