Biden plans trip to Amtrak’s Bear shops after spending weekend at home near Rehoboth

Photo courtesy of Amtrak.

Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden spent the weekend at their home near Rehoboth Beach with the president paying a visit to the Amtrak site in Bear Monday.

On Friday, the First Couple are flying into Dover Air Force Base and were taken by helicopter to a landing site near their North Shores home.

It followed a trip to Lewiston, Maine, where they visited with families of victims and first responders following a mass shooting that took 18 lives.

The Bidens spent a quiet weekend near the beach town, with no reports of public sightings.

The President will have a meet and greet with workers at the Bear site and hold a press even to promoting the government’s multibillion dollar investment in the passenger rail system. Biden has visited the Bear maintenance sites in the past. The accompanying photo is from a 2014 visit.


At the event, Biden announced $16 billion in spending for Amtrak projects that included new tunnels and a bridge over the Susquehanna River in nearby Maryland.

Amtrak has shops in both Bear and Wilmington and at one point employed 1,000 in Delaware in maintenance, dispatching, training and other areas. The railroad also owns a building in downtown Wilmington. That purchase was criticized by Amtrak’s Inspector General when cost cutting reduced occupancy in the building.

The long-term status of both maintenance sites is unclear as Amtrak adds or refurbishes other locations as it retires old equipment and adds a new generation of locomotives and passenger cars. The transition is expected to take several years.

The Bear site also includes a concrete tie manufacturing plant owned by a German company.

Federal infrastructure funds are also being used to refurbish railroad stations and deal with century-old tunnels and bridges that limit speeds on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor routes.

Recently, the ribbon was cut on $11 million in improvements at the Wilmington Train Station that now carries Biden’s name. The president was a daily Amtrak commuter and a strong supporter of the passenger line.

The president is expected to be back at the White House at mid-afternoon.

Flight restrictions are in place in the Rehoboth areas into Monday, with Bear added to the list late last week. The restrictions are subject to change.

Last week a private aircraft was forced to land after violating airspace around the Biden home near Greenville, west of Wilmington. There was a similar situation during the recent visit by the Bidens.