Obama, Biden Plan Celebratory Train Trip on Way to Inauguration

The White House’s next occupants plan to ride the rails, with several stops along the way.

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When they head to the presidential inauguration, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and their families won't be making the same mistake as the CEOs of Detroit's Big Three by coming to the capital on corporate jets. Instead, they'll be traveling by train.

The president-elect, the vice president-elect, and their families start their journey to Washington on Saturday, January 17. Along the way, they'll host events in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and Baltimore. The cities were chosen because of their connection to the inauguration's theme: "Restoring America's Promise."

The train trip is being planned to draw on Obama's campaign message of involvement and openness.

"As part of the most open and accessible inauguration in history, we hope to include as many Americans as possible who wish to participate but can't be in Washington," said Emmett S. Beliveau, executive director of Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009, in a statement. "These events will allow us to do that while honoring the rich history and tradition of previous inaugural journeys."

After the leaders and their families arrive in Washington Saturday evening, four days of festivities kick off. Highlights announced so far include a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 19, and on Inauguration Day (January 20), a luncheon, parade, and balls. More details on both the events along the train trip and in Washington are expected soon.

Anywhere from 2 to 4 million Americans are expected to be in Washington for the inauguration.