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Open Thread: Should Amtrak save 30th Street’s flipboard?

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It’s been there since the ‘70s

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We’ve all seen it, watched it diligently while waiting for our trains, and made a beeline for it every time we enter the massive 30th Street Station: It’s the flipboard.

And now it’s in danger of extinction.

The iconic large, black flipboard that reads off train times in the middle of 30th Street may be replaced with a new, digital version, according to several sources, first reported by BillyPenn and then, the Philly Inquirer.

The latter source reported in November that Amtrak was in talks to remove the famous (at least in Philly) sign in January, as part of a larger plan to upgrade the station’s announcement system. The flip board has to be custom made, and it’s the last one still remaining at any Amtrak stations.

But following the stories, the pushback was immediate. The Inquirer’s own David Gambacorta aptly named the sign in a tweet:

The Philly Inquirer posted a column from Inga Saffron last week, calling to keep the sign and declaring it, “a certified design icon that is as important to its own history as 30th Street’s magnificent waiting room.”

According to a new story posted Tuesday night, Amtrak was reconsidering its decision after outcry, and possibly plan on replacing the sign with a new model.

But as always with these big stories, we want to hear from you. Do you think it’s time to replace the “clickety clackety sign” or do you think it should remain as is? If Amtrak does plan on replacing the sign, should they do so with a new model of the same flipboard? Would you like a better way to get information to travelers?

Let us know in the comments.

  • Amtrak Is Removing the Departures Flipboard Inside 30th Street Station [BillyPenn]
  • The end is near for 30th Street Station’s famous flipping board [Philly.com]
  • Amtrak, keep the mod flipboard sign. It’s part of your heritage. | Inga Saffron [Philly.com]
  • After talk with Philly congressman, Amtrak says it may keep flipboard at 30th Street Station [Philly.com]

30th Street Station

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1616 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 Visit Website