Courtesy John H. Gray/flickr and Michele Asselin/Arrive
The current state of rail is nowhere near its heyday in the 20th century, when train travel was luxurious and serviced most parts of the country. But high speed rail is making a comeback, championed by planners, environmentalists, and the Obama administration.
The mode of transport still has to contend with car and air travel (along with a reputation for inconsistency and irrelevance), but it got some help in March, when a commercial featured Mad Men‘s Pete Campbell and Harry Crane building a campaign for high speed rail. And Amtrak still has an surprising roster of famous passengers, which includes Angelina Jolie, Jesse Jackson and John Travolta, according to forums on Flyertalk.com and Trainorders.com. Check out these celebrities who take high speed rail:
Vice President Joe Biden, known as Mr. Amtrak in Congress, commuted between Wilmington and Washington DC over 7,000 times during his years in Congress. The former Senator penned a piece in Arrive magazine last spring professing his love for rail travel:
Amtrak doesn’t just carry us from one place to another–it makes things possible that otherwise wouldn’t be. For 36 years, I was able to make most of those birthday parties, to get home to read bedtime stories, to cheer for my children at their soccer games. Simply put, Amtrak gave me–and countless other Americans–more time with my family.
Newt Gingrich, who just announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, has been sighted on Amtrak, even though he opposes Amtrak funding. He traveled between LaGuardia Airport and DC, as a member of Club Acela no less.
BJ Novak, who produces and plays Ryan on NBC’s The Office, was seen on the Pacific Surfliner 583 heading to Los Angeles. He rode business class.
Bill Cosby takes Amtrak. The comedian has been spotted going from Philadelphia to Washington, and on the Texas Eagle 22. One excited passenger made this video of him, and reports:
A man on the back deck of the dome car alerted us of Bill Cosby being on board. We pointed out cameras towards the window he was sitting at. A few days later, Andrew Sax told me Bill visited his school.
Bruce Springsteen “charters a car on the NEC once in awhile. Guy likes trains and brings the entire band along,” according to one observer.
Have you spotted a celeb while riding the train? Share your star-studded encounters in the comments.