President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has canceled plans to ride Amtrak to Washington for his inauguration next week, a reflection of intense security concerns around the event following last week’s riot at the Capitol.
As a senator, Mr. Biden commuted by Amtrak train from his home state of Delaware for decades, and became a public champion of the government-subsidized rail service. He kicked off his 1988 presidential campaign from the back of an Amtrak train and rode one home on his final day as vice president in 2017.
He had hoped to recreate the everyman journey one more time for his swearing in. But after a briefing from F.B.I. and Secret Service officials on inauguration security concerns, Mr. Biden’s team agreed that the 90-minute train ride should be called off, according to a person familiar with the decision.
“The nation has continued to learn more about the threat to our democracy and about the potential for additional violence in the coming days, both in the National Capital Region and in cities across the country,” the transition team said in a statement after the briefing on Wednesday. “This is a challenge that the president-elect and his team take incredibly seriously.”
Federal and local officials have warned of the prospect of extremist activity in Washington and around the country in the coming days. Mr. Biden had already been planning a muted inaugural given the public health risk of mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the traditional gatherings and festivities will occur digitally during the day, and a prime-time special will air on television stream online Wednesday night.
Mr. Biden still plans to take the oath of office outside the Capitol. Earlier this week he said that he was “not afraid” to do so.