Capitol Alert: 'Amtrak Joe' Biden tours Sacramento-built locomotive

ctate@mcclatchydc.comFebruary 6, 2014 

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at an unveiling of Amtrak Siemens ACS-64 Cities Sprinter electric locomotive in Philadelphia on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014.

ASSOCIATED PRESS/MICHAEL PEREZ

Vice President Joe Biden, who famously commuted from Delaware to the U.S. Senate by train for many years, got behind the controls of Amtrak's newest electric locomotive Thursday.

Biden and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx were given a tour of Amtrak's ACS-64 "Cities Sprinter" locomotive at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. The red, blue and silver locomotive is one of 70 built for Amtrak by Siemens in South Sacramento.

"I'm ready to roll," Biden said when he sat in the engineer's seat, according to a White House pool report, although he didn't actually take the locomotive for a spin.

The locomotives were financed by a nearly $600 million loan from the Federal Railroad Administration. The Siemens plant in California employs about 800 workers and builds passenger locomotives and equipment for transit systems.

Biden and Foxx went to Philadelphia to mark the locomotive's debut on the Northeast Corridor and talk about the need for infrastructure investment.

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