Quantcast

The Biden Campaign Train is back in the news

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,825
Vice President of the United States for 8 years isn’t an elected official?

Biden is a private citizen. He isn’t an elected official at this point. All these precautions are done for elected officials holding offices. I think in some cases Biden is already elected in some people’s brains.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,763
Location
South Carolina
I presume when a stretch of railroad is/was spiked for a Presidential or campaign train that someone's got to go along after that train has passed and pull out the spikes to put the switches back into service?

So has there ever been a derailment or other incident from someone forgetting to do that, where a dispatcher, train crew, etc. presumed a certain switch was switched but it wasn't because it was inadvertently still spiked? Maybe on a switch that wouldn't indicate its status on a signal light or a dispatcher's panel?
Not that I am aware of. For the most part when a major special like that occurs the railroads take things very seriously. The track department will be out in the weeks prior improving the property, and management will go over the line in a hi-rail the days prior. There is a very slim chance that the railroad will forget to undo the spiking. The other thing to remember an event like this is an all hands on deck situation for the railroad. The track crews, signal crews, and management are out and about.

Major candidates for the Presidency (and the Vice-Presidency, and their spouses) receive Secret Service protection. Secret Service webpage on protection. I'm sure the nominee of either major party is a major candidate from the convention onwards if not earlier.
Yes historically candidates running have also had the switches spiked according to Bill Withers book Politics and Pullmans: The President Travels by Train. A fantastic read for anyone wanting to learn more about the subject. It is $40 on Amazon currently I believe. Make sure to get the most updated version which includes the 1996-2008 trains.

I was just discussing this train with someone else and it reminded me of something. The original plan for the train was to have it the week of the election but they ran it when they did. The reason I know that as an outsider is the maintenance person Amtrak has on all charters was a guest of a friend when the train operated. And I remember overhearing him calling out from work because he had his vacation planned well in advance. So Amtrak had to find someone to replace him.
 

joelkfla

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
241
I was just discussing this train with someone else and it reminded me of something. The original plan for the train was to have it the week of the election but they ran it when they did. The reason I know that as an outsider is the maintenance person Amtrak has on all charters was a guest of a friend when the train operated. And I remember overhearing him calling out from work because he had his vacation planned well in advance. So Amtrak had to find someone to replace him.
Probably because so many voters are voting by mail-in ballot or by in-person early voting. Both methods have been breaking records.
 

Night Ranger

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Messages
66
Not currently.
Doesn’t matter.

Even before being officially nominated candidates from both parties qualify for Secret Service protection and security briefings although I doubt that those briefings are as detailed as the ones our current leader doesn’t read. Also former presidents qualify for at least some level of Secret Service protection.

We taxpayers are going to be paying for golf cart rentals at Mar-a-Lago for years to come regardless of the election’s outcome. Kind of makes the money spent on Biden’s Campaign excursion pale in comparison.
 

Night Ranger

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Messages
66
Not currently.
To further follow up, per CNN Biden was authorized Secret Service protection on 17 March code name “Celtic” the same one he used while VP. Prior to that date he depended on private security and local law enforcement. After a couple of instances of protestors jumping on stage Homeland Security assumed those duties at the campaign’s request.

In this day and time I have serious doubts about a candidate speaking from an open railcar in a wide open space Secret Service protection or not. It’s a time honored part of campaigning and I would enjoy seeing it but is it secure?
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
569
Location
Denver
On the RFK train through the Willamette Valley in 1968 we were at track speed but they took it easy approaching cities. And when we reached Eugene there were freight trains end to end held to avoid meets or crowd danger.

The non-partisan nature of doing the job right is symbolized for me by this photo of Dave Shumacher, now deceased, who was a staunch Libertarian, working on the UP Front Range special for the inauguration of a Democrat as Colorado governor. Dave wanted every customer to have a good experience. (My part in the event was minor. At that point my employer owned Denver Union Station and someone had to shepherd tv people safely. There are a lot of details on something like this.)

FtWDen07 044kk David on the run.jpg
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,763
Location
South Carolina
On the RFK train through the Willamette Valley in 1968 we were at track speed but they took it easy approaching cities. And when we reached Eugene there were freight trains end to end held to avoid meets or crowd danger.

The non-partisan nature of doing the job right is symbolized for me by this photo of Dave Shumacher, now deceased, who was a staunch Libertarian, working on the UP Front Range special for the inauguration of a Democrat as Colorado governor. Dave wanted every customer to have a good experience. (My part in the event was minor. At that point my employer owned Denver Union Station and someone had to shepherd tv people safely. There are a lot of details on something like this.)

View attachment 19421
The Union Pacific rolling stock looks amazing. If I didn't look up when that campaign ran I wouldn't have known that it wasn't the 1950s as that's a beautiful paint scheme.

I've actually heard snippets of the RFK train across Oregon on youtube. If you would like I can find the videos for you.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,825
The Union Pacific rolling stock looks amazing. If I didn't look up when that campaign ran I wouldn't have known that it wasn't the 1950s as that's a beautiful paint scheme.

I've actually heard snippets of the RFK train across Oregon on youtube. If you would like I can find the videos for you.
UP passenger equipment is amazing on the outside and inside. Custom UP fabric for the upholstery and everything. I rode a couple of the frontier day trips and I rode the big boy out of Omaha last year.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,763
Location
South Carolina
I've been on the Frontier Days train but I'm jealous of the big boy excursion. I was planning on riding the Big Boy thru the Columbia River Gorge into Portland this year. But Covid dashed those hopes.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,825
I've been on the Frontier Days train but I'm jealous of the big boy excursion. I was planning on riding the Big Boy thru the Columbia River Gorge into Portland this year. But Covid dashed those hopes.
I’m glad I picked the trip out of Omaha. The car hosts were old timers from the old UP excursion days so they were super laid back and let us hang in the vestibules as long as they were there.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,390
Location
Palm Beach County
I’m glad I picked the trip out of Omaha. The car hosts were old timers from the old UP excursion days so they were super laid back and let us hang in the vestibules as long as they were there.
Reminds me of when I was involved with running NRHS UP steam excursions out of Denver in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s...
We allowed (with UP’s blessing), open vestibule upper Dutch doors, as well as baggage car doors (there was a gate across bottom), for photographers and audio recorders. They were well used.
The only exception was when we did photo run bys....then we closed all doors to give the train a more “in regular service” appearance for our photographers. We didn’t care how the train appeared to the “freeloader’s” chasing the train in their autos. Our photo run bys were usually done in places inaccessible to chasers...😉
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,825
We didn’t care how the train appeared to the “freeloader’s” chasing the train in their autos. Our photo run bys were usually done in places inaccessible to chasers...😉
I can’t stand that attitude. It’s way too common, but fortunately the new generation of railfans is much more welcoming.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,390
Location
Palm Beach County
I
I can’t stand that attitude. It’s way too common, but fortunately the new generation of railfans is much more welcoming.
I am sorry if that offended you, but without the real support of the fare paying passengers on those excursions, the ‘parasites’ that only would chase it, and never support the preservation of the steam excursion program would have nothing to photograph.
 

crescent-zephyr

Conductor
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
2,825
I

I am sorry if that offended you, but without the real support of the fare paying passengers on those excursions, the ‘parasites’ that only would chase it, and never support the preservation of the steam excursion program would have nothing to photograph.
The people putting photos up on Instagram and YouTube are doing more to help rail preservation than anyone else.

This isn’t anything personal, I get paid to ride mainline steam. That makes me the ultimate parasite I guess ;)
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,390
Location
Palm Beach County
Getting paid to ride is very nice, indeed.
My “pay” for handling the ticketing for those excursions was the joy of getting to ride them, organize and supervise our volunteer car hosts, and..... getting a cab ride in the 844 and 3985 on a segment.
😎
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,763
Location
South Carolina
The people putting photos up on Instagram and YouTube are doing more to help rail preservation than anyone else.

This isn’t anything personal, I get paid to ride mainline steam. That makes me the ultimate parasite I guess ;)
You and me both. And it is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I miss the old NS 21st Century Steam Program. Things will get better someday, one day. But until then we will always have the memories to live with. Which engines have you worked? I'm betting we have ran across each other before?
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
569
Location
Denver
The Union Pacific rolling stock looks amazing. If I didn't look up when that campaign ran I wouldn't have known that it wasn't the 1950s as that's a beautiful paint scheme.

I've actually heard snippets of the RFK train across Oregon on youtube. If you would like I can find the videos for you.
I think that the YouTube snippets were mine, although there might be more. I covered it for college radio. My railfan fellow alum covered it for the Lewis & Clark College literary magazine! If Rogers E. M. Whitaker could do things like that I guess it was okay.



This was the next to the last campaign train that did not have Secret Service protection. In part 2 I have a portrait shot of the chief of SP Railroad Police. He was on the trip. The Road Foreman of Engines was in the cab.

Here's a link to the last RFK campaign train.

 
Last edited:

Willbridge

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
569
Location
Denver
Getting paid to ride is very nice, indeed.
My “pay” for handling the ticketing for those excursions was the joy of getting to ride them, organize and supervise our volunteer car hosts, and..... getting a cab ride in the 844 and 3985 on a segment.
😎
John Day 844.jpg

With the 844 on the new Corps of Engineers alignments we left the motorcaders behind. The Oregon State Police cruised along the Interstate at the speed limit. No one would pass them. The old US30 bridge and the older OWRR&N bridge sites are under the pool of the John Day Dam now.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,390
Location
Palm Beach County
I think that the YouTube snippets were mine, although there might be more. I covered it for college radio. My railfan fellow alum covered it for the Lewis & Clark College literary magazine! If Rogers E. M. Whitaker could do things like that I guess it was okay.



This was the next to the last campaign train that did not have Secret Service protection. In part 2 I have a portrait shot of the chief of SP Railroad Police. He was on the trip. The Road Foreman of Engines was in the cab.

Here's a link to the last RFK campaign train.

Fascinating bit of history there.
Besides listening to the candidate,
I loved hearing those”567’s”, spooling up....😎
 

Willbridge

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
569
Location
Denver
Fascinating bit of history there.
Besides listening to the candidate,
I loved hearing those”567’s”, spooling up....😎
I was in the lead vestibule along with a sound man for CBS. I often went after an odd angle for stories that I knew would get saturation coverage by the major outlets. I had the engine sound idea in my head when the trip started but the scene in Harrisburg was said to be the most moving by Kennedy fans after his death. Of course, those funereal crossing bells are gone now along with the "Mad Men" vintage press corps and politicians.
 

Seaboard92

Conductor
Joined
Dec 31, 2014
Messages
3,763
Location
South Carolina
I was in the lead vestibule along with a sound man for CBS. I often went after an odd angle for stories that I knew would get saturation coverage by the major outlets. I had the engine sound idea in my head when the trip started but the scene in Harrisburg was said to be the most moving by Kennedy fans after his death. Of course, those funereal crossing bells are gone now along with the "Mad Men" vintage press corps and politicians.
I have to say I like how you thought about doing that. I really enjoyed hearing those 567s spool up that brought back some really good memories for me in the cab of an E8. I am really jealous that you got to ride the train with RFK. That is quite the opportunity you had. It was also really nice to hear the newscasts of yesteryear when things were calm and normal compared to today.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,390
Location
Palm Beach County
I have also enjoyed cab rides in E-8’s and E-9’s. Those were the “Cadillacs” of the early passenger locomotives. They rode like a Pullman, especially compared with other locomotives.
I loved hearing the “chant” of those twin 567’s, especially when they went into transition from series to parallel...😎
 
Top