Politics

The view from Obama's train to Washington

Published 6:13 PM ET, Sun January 15, 2017
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A crowd of people watches a train carrying President-elect Barack Obama to Washington on January 17, 2009. He was on a whistle-stop train tour three days before his inauguration, and photographer Nina Berman was on board. Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
Berman shot these photos from the windows of the moving train. The trip started in Philadelphia and traveled about 136 miles to Washington. Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
"From the beginning, you could see the crowds were going to be assembling along the route," Berman said. "But what was so kind of poetic and tragic at the same time was that, the train is a sealed train and because of who Obama was at that moment, he couldn't really interact with the public because of security reasons. And so people just stood by, but they never really got a glimpse of him as this train just whizzed by." Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
From the train, Berman observed when the architecture would change a bit or when houses would start to feel a little closer to the railroad tracks. Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
People show their support for the President-elect. Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
The train pulls into Baltimore on the way to Washington. Obama's train trip was similar to Abraham Lincoln's in 1861. Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
"It was remarkably mixed in terms of age, in terms of gender, in terms of race," Berman said. "You would see people standing out in the more suburban, maybe wealthier communities just as much as you would see people standing out on the street or looking out from their back porch in some of the poor parts of Baltimore." Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
"What's so cool is, looking at these pictures now, people aren't on their cell phones," Berman said. "If they're holding something, a device, it's a little camera or they're just waving; they don't need to take a selfie. ... They're truly in the moment, and that's something we've lost." Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
Police officers watch from behind a fence. Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux
A crowd holds a "Yes We Can" sign along the route. Nina Berman/NOOR/Redux