Obama begins historic rail trip
US President-elect Barack Obama is retracing the steps of Abraham Lincoln as he travels from Philadelphia to Washington to assume the presidency, BBC reported.
Shortly before 1100 (1600 GMT) on Saturday Mr Obama and his family boarded a train for the 137-mile (220 km) journey to the US capital.
The train will pass slowly though towns so Mr Obama can greet crowds, and make a number of stops for public events.
It mirrors the journey Mr Lincoln made as he travelled to Washington in 1861.
Mr Obama will be sworn into office on 20 January - an event expected to draw record crowds.
Speaking just before he boarded the train, Mr Obama said he would be carrying the hopes of ordinary Americans with him on his journey to Washington.
"Let's make sure this election is not the end of what we do to change America, but just the beginning," he said. "Let's seek a better world in our time."
The journey began at Philadelphia's 30th Street station, where Mr Obama, a security detail and a media pack boarded the 80-year-old train.
It will crawl though Claymont, Delaware, so the president-elect can greet well-wishers, and then make a stop in Wilmington to pick up Vice-President-elect Joe Biden and his family.
Another stop is planned in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, where Mr Obama is to deliver a speech before up to 100,000 people.
Late on Saturday it will roll into Washington's Union Station - only a short walk from the platform where Mr Obama will take the oath of office on Tuesday.
Before that a number of events are planned to kick off the celebrations.
On Sunday Mr Obama will join several celebrities at an official welcome concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The following day, Monday, is Martin Luther King Day. Mr Obama, Mr Biden and their families will take part in activities in Washington aimed at encouraging others to help their communities.
An unprecedented security operation is under way in Washington ahead of the inauguration, with as many as two million people expected to attend on the day itself.