Thursday, July 2, 2015

Joe Biden, Mister Amtrak

The Vice President Acelas it to Philadelphia

Joe Biden, Mister Amtrak


Waiting for the Vice President and transportation secretary to arrive at 30th Street Station...

Waiting for Biden to leave.

In between those two photos, the Vice President Acela-ed it to from Washington - something he's done hundreds of times in his political career - to push the administration's plan to spend $53 billion over six years to develop a national and intercity high-speed passenger rail network. Not the most exciting of photo opportunities, but I like this sort of thing.

I don't think I'd like shooting politicians every single day of my working life, but in small doses it is challenging to come up with more than talking heads at a podium, especially when your movements are severely limited by the secret Service.

Mayor Nutter introduced Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, then took off immediately for his own announcements - a redevelopment project on North Broad Street and GlaxoSmithKline's moving their headquarters to the Navy Yard on South Broad.

I focused on the crowd out in the station behind Biden, hoping somebody would stop at the barrier and stare out across the empty lobby wondering who or what was going on in front of the bright lights. But the business of the train station carried on as usual.

The White House advance staff found an old chalk board "analog" time table in the station and rolled it over to join a large American flag just to add some ambiance.

Inquirer Staff Photographer
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About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

Reach Tom at

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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