Biden visited 30th Street Station in Philadelphia to help unveil the rail system's Cities Sprinter electric engine on Thursday.
Amtrak bought 70 U.S.-built engines using a $593 million loan from the Federal Railroad Administration. The locomotives will power trains along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington beginning Friday.
Officials say they are safer, smoother and more efficient than the current aging fleet.
Biden calls the rail corridor "a critical artery" supporting the nation's growth and commerce. He says the U.S. loses $51 billion in productivity each year due to highway traffic jams.
The vice president also stressed the need to modernize the country's ports and airports.