On his historic recreation of Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural railroad ride to the White House this weekend, President-Elect Barack Obama could be making an unexpected and unlikely stop in Harford County along the way.
Obama’s much-celebrated trip begins Saturday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, continues to Wilimington, Delaware (where he will pick up his vice president-elect Joe Biden, and continues to Baltimore, before rolling on to Washington D.C. But sources this week have indicated the Obama team was contemplating, and possibly even preparing for, a stop in Edgewood.
Even before speculation began brewing about a potential Obama stop in Edgewood, a contingent of local elected officials were preparing to greet the president-elect by gathering at community train stations to wave at the Amtrak caravan as it rolled by.
Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie plans on gathering with constituents at the Edgewood MARC Train Station on Saturday afternoon at about 2 p.m.
On Tuesday evening, Guthrie was not aware if Obama would be stopping at the Edgewood station, slowing down to greet the crowd of supporters, or merely passing by on his trip south.
Information provided by county council staff indicated Obama’s train is supposed to be traveling at about 50 mph, which is slow compared to the normal speed of the trains coming through Edgewood. Evidently, the reason for the low speed is because Obama will be riding in President Harry S. Truman’s caboose at the rear of the train, from which he will be waving.
As far as whether the train will be stopping in Edgewood, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office will be providing deputies and has allegedly been told, as of Tuesday afternoon, to proceed as if there will be a presidential stop and speaking engagement at the train station.
Others speculated that Obama wouldn’t actually be stepping off the train in Edgewood, but merely giving a short speech from a platform on the train. Another theory supposes that the president-elect may be planning to stop and speak in Edgewood only if encouraged to do so by a large turnout at the train station.
Guthrie has encouraged anyone interested in greeting Obama as the train rolls by to meet at the Edgewood Train station at 2 p.m. on Saturday with signs showing their support for the president-elect.
Additionally, the presidential train wave will also have a group meeting along the tracks behind Havre de Grace Middle School and Community Center led by County Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti and another group led by Aberdeen City Councilman Mike Hiob at the Aberdeen MARC Train Station on Route 40.