On the Obama train - part 1

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Christina Bellantoni photo

 

PHILADELPHIA - Washington Times photographer Mary Calvert and I are part of the press corps traveling on President-elect Barack Obama’s train today, retracing the historic route traveled by President Lincoln in 1861 on the way to his first inauguration.

 

After an event here in the station with invited guests and local officials, we’ll leave from Philadelphia around 11:20 a.m. and proceed to Wilmington and Baltimore for other rallies, where Obama will speak to presumably large crowds, and then end the day back in D.C.

 

Obama will also do what is a called a “slow-roll” through different stops along the way, where he’ll wave from the train to supporters.

 

Mary and I took an Amtrak train from Union Station at 5:25 a.m. today, and made it here in time for the 8 a.m. check-in, but not without the seemingly required hiccups. About 30 minutes after we left Union Station, the power on our train went out. The train went pitch black, we came to a complete stop, and we were told there were wires down on the tracks.

 

It sounded as if we might miss the O train all together, but within 15 minutes the train was back up and running.

 

We’re now holding inside the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia while the Secret Service try to sort out where we’re supposed to go. Chip Reid from CBS is also part of our small group of outcasts. We’ve told staffers from the Presidential Inaugural Committee where we are and they are supposedly coming to get us and take us to the event prior to boarding the train.

 

More updates and hopefully pictures to come later, and perhaps some edited video as well.

 

— Jon Ward, White House Reporter

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