December 15, 2008 / 3:52 PM / 9 years ago

Obama to travel by train to D.C. for inauguration

CHICAGO (Reuters) - President-elect Barack Obama will travel with his family by train from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., the weekend before the January 20 inauguration.

<p>President-elect Barack Obama waves after buying a Christmas tree in Chicago, December 14, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress</p>

In the tradition of past presidents-elect who traveled by rail to Washington before they were sworn in, Obama’s train will set off on Saturday, January 17, from Philadelphia and make its way to Washington by evening.

“The trip marks the final leg of a journey that began on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Illinois and will culminate on the steps of the United States Capitol,” the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee said on Monday.

Obama announced his candidacy at the Old State Capitol -- the site of Abraham Lincoln’s famous “House Divided” speech in 1858 about how the United States could not continue to be divided by the issue of slavery.

On the morning of January 17 Obama and his family will participate in an event in Philadelphia -- site of the first Continental Congress -- before boarding a train and traveling to Wilmington, Delaware, to pick up Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his family.

Together, the Obamas and Bidens will travel to Baltimore, Maryland, for another event, before finally arriving in Washington, D.C., on Saturday evening.

With more than a month to go before the inauguration, Obama was moving on Monday to add more members to his Cabinet. He is due to hold a news conference at 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) to announce plans for the country’s future energy and environmental policies.

He is expected to name former Environmental Protection Agency chief Carol Browner as the chief White House official on energy, climate and environment policies and nominate Nobel physics laureate Steven Chu as energy secretary.

Earlier in the day Obama is holding a meeting of his national security team. Attendees will include Biden, Secretary of State designee Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Attorney General designee Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security designee Janet Napolitano.

Editing by Eric Beech

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