By the time the Whistle Stop Express rolled across the Mason-Dixon Line into Maryland at 2:17 this afternoon, the mercury was still a couple of points short of the day’s high, 19-degrees. But the artic air blanketing the Mid-Atlantic didn’t stop over 200-well wishers from waiting patiently in the bitter cold at the old Pennsylvania Railroad Depot in Elkton. On down the 20-miles of line in Cecil the train rolled southward while smaller clusters of people in the outlying areas waited to get a glimpse of it on this historic day. It was striking to see the lone people standing on a hillside not far from the tracks waving in this rural part of Maryland as the train came by, a CNN reporter aboard the press coach blogged.
When the locomotive pulling the 10 coaches came into view at Perryville’s restored passenger station the Mayor and Commissioners of Perryville and another crowd of over 200 people waved and cheered the president-elect’s party. The Amtrak special crossed over the Susquehanna into Harford County at 2:35 p.m. The vintage car faded slowly from view of the cheering crowd while President-elect Obama and Vice-President-Elect Biden seated comfortably inside rolled toward a date with history as they carried with them the hopes of the nation.