Friday, August 29, 2008

Biden's Train Ride

Senator Joe Biden, as most everyone knows by now, commutes by train from Wilmington, DE to Washington, DC.

I thought it was interesting and decided to research it a bit.

Yahoo Maps reports that the distance from Wilmington, DE to Washington, DC is 113 miles and should take slightly more than 2 hours to drive. At say 15 miles per gallon that would be about 7.5 gallons of gasoline or about $30 for fuel one way or $60 round trip. IRS allows about $.50 per mile now I think so if it were considered business then it could be deducted at some $113 per day. There would be more for parking and so on.

Amtrak reports 5 routes scheduled from Wilmington to DC each taking between 1 hour 25 minutes and 1 hour 46 minutes. There were 4 routes the other way just in case someone is curious. Amtrak has a handy program to check fares and so on. The round trip cost is between $101 and $194 depending upon times.

That, of course, does not include the subsidy. The last one I know about was $11.4 Billion in October 2007 or, the article said, $1.9 Billion per year. Oil was $90 per barrel then so I assume this will be increased. I don't know how that works out on individual routes and so on.

Regardless if I use $100 per day at 5 days per week and 50 weeks per year I get $25,000. Of course it could be twice that really.

I don't know if Senator Biden has to pay for the train or not. Maybe Senators have special train privileges or something. I doubt it but I don't know. People think I ought to get free meals from Chili's or free coffee from Starbucks because we have one on our property. But we don't get anything free and I don't really know anyone who does.

I suppose anyway you consider the issue there is pluses and minuses to commuting every day between Washington and Wilmington.

I've never been on a train though. I think I would like to try it. We have one that goes between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth and back. It is called the Heartland Flyer and it has its own website named - about as imaginative as my titles. I notice they use a star as the ico. Maybe that's because it goes through Texas.

That's an image I found nof the Heartland Flyer on the gallery page of the website.

From everything I know about it - and that's from what I read and from what a few people have told me - the "flyer" designation is a real misnomer. It does not "fly" at all and often is delayed by extremely long times.

I don't know exactly what I'd do once I got to Fort Worth except wait for the train to return me home. I think you can probably find some shopping and eating opportunities there pretty close to the station. But shopping is certainly not my thing and I don't really need to do anymore eating period.

Still I think I'd like to do it sometime just so I could say I had been on a train.

Anyway I thought it was interesting about Senator Biden and his daily train commute.


Lori1955 said...

I've never been on a train either. I want to go on one that has sleeping quarters and a dining car though. I think that would be fun.
Only you would look up Senator Bidens means of transportation. :)

~Betsy said...

I can't imagine paying more than $100 a day for a commute. I think I'd look for a home closer to my office! Of course, I'm spoiled - my commute is 2 miles and takes all of 4 minutes!

Annie said...

I took the train from here to Milwaukee. It was wonderful. Large seats with plenty of leg room, and the motion is very smooth and rocking. It was cheaper than driving, plus I could knit. I can't knit and drive at the same time. No, I have never attempted it.