Biden announced a plan that would invest $53 billion over six years to construct a national high-speed rail network - including a proposed $8 billion for high-speed rail in President Obama's budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
These new efforts are designed to help the Obama administration reach its goal that 80 percent of Americans have convenient access to high-speed rail within the next 25 years.
Local Amtrak trends were highlighted as an example of the growth in train usage. Ridership on the Keystone Corridor has grown by 57 percent since 2006 when track improvements between Philadelphia and Harrisburg increased train speeds.
Six times more people take the train between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. than fly, Biden said. And such train usage cuts back on congestion - if service stopped along the Northeast Corridor, seven new lanes on I-95 would have to be built to accommodate the extra traffic.
In September, Amtrak released a report outlining the need for high-speed rail in the Northeast and describing possibilities for 220 mph high-speed rail that could travel from Philly to New York in 38 minutes and Philly to Washington in 60 minutes.
Biden stressed the importance of high-speed rail in the country's ability to increase productivity, reduce dependence on foreign oil and compete with other countries.
A global leader in the 21st century needs a transportation system that is "modern, efficient, environmentally friendly and truly national," he said. "We cannot settle. We're determined to lead again."
Biden is familiar with 30th Street Station. He joked that while commuting home to Wilmington, Del. from Washington while he was a senator, he ended up in Philadelphia once in a while when he missed his stop.