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The nation's Amtrak rider-in-chief, Vice President Joseph Biden, has penned an op-ed for the rail network's monthly magazine entitled "Why America Needs Trains."

15blog_biden.jpgThe Vice President and his wife share a tender moment -- on the Acela. (Photo: NYT)

Biden
doesn't get too political in the piece, eschewing calls for more Amtrak
funding in favor of a paean to the "emotional connection" he
experienced riding the rails during his 36-year congressional career.

But the vice president, who has taken on a central role in the White House's high-speed rail push, closes with a strong endorsement of inter-city trains as pollution reducers:

Consider that if you shut down Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, it isestimated that to compensate for the loss, you'd have to add seven newlanes of highway to Interstate 95. When you consider that it costs anaverage of $30 million for one linear mile of one lane of highway, yousee what a sound investment rail travel is. And that's before youfactor in the environmental benefits of keeping millions and millionsof cars off the road.

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