Vice President Joe Biden, one of the nation's most famous Amtrak passengers and a longtime supporter of increased commuter train funding, said in a statement Wednesday that he was "deeply saddened to learn of the Amtrak tragedy in Philadelphia last night."
Biden, who made it a point of pride to commute by train throughout his 36-year Senate career, from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, D.C., has called the rail system "an absolute national treasure and necessity."
In 2011, his decades of loyalty and advocacy on behalf of the Northeast Corridor was honored by having his hometown station named after him.
Here's the full statement:
"Jill and I were deeply saddened to learn of the Amtrak tragedy in Philadelphia last night. We are profoundly grateful for the efforts of the first responders and others who continue to assist those in need.
The victims could have been any one of our parents, children, or someone from one of our communities. Amtrak is like a second family to me, as it is for so many other passengers. For my entire career, I've made the trip from Wilmington to Washington and back. I've come to know the conductors, engineers, and other regulars-men and women riding home to kiss their kids goodnight-as we passed the flickering lights of each neighborhood along the way.
Our thoughts are with every person who is grieving right now from this terrible tragedy. As a nation, we pray for the victims and their families."