After months of outcry over Amtrak’s plan to replace 30th Street Station’s iconic, clacking flipboard, it looks like the 1970’s relic is finally coming down.
The Solari sign, which sits in the middle of the station displaying train times, will be taken down over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle confirmed Thursday. For now, the sign will be moved to The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Lancaster County, before it is brought back to 30th Street and “reincorporated into the station,” according to a joint statement from Boyle and Amtrak Thursday night. A temporary digital sign will go up in its place.
It’s unclear exactly when (between now and Monday) the flipboard will come down, but distraught Twitter users were sharing videos and photos of people working to dismantle the board as early as Thursday night.
There is something extremely cruel about the sign still spinning while they actively dismantle it pic.twitter.com/zeFHR156dL— Travis Hughes (@_travishughes) January 25, 2019
While it’s the end for this particular sign, which has been a staple in the bustling train station for nearly 50 years, Philadelphians may see a similar sign in its place soon.
Amtrak first announced their plan to replace the flipboard with a digital one back in November, largely due to its deteriorating condition and inability to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements. The sign at 30th Street is the last analog train station board at any Amtrak station.
But the news struck a chord with the public, who pushed back against the decision, prompting Amtrak to rethink the plan. In January, officials met with Boyle, who advocated for a similar sign to replace the current one. Boyle told reporters this month that Amtrak is open to bringing a new flipboard that is similar in both sound—that iconic “clickety-clack”—and look. But the new sign, which he said may be designed by Philly-based company, Oat Foundry, would be ADA-friendly.
“Accessibility is of paramount importance. However, at 30th Street Station, there is tremendous opportunity to achieve these aims in a manner that also retains the iconic character of the Solari sign,” Boyle said in the joint statement Thursday.
While I’m sad to see Amtrak is removing the sign, I am glad Amtrak has officially committed to reincorporatimg it into the station’s new design. I will continue pushing Amtrak to make the permanent replacement for the old sign a new one that looks and sounds like the Solari.— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) January 25, 2019
“The new Passenger Information Display System is necessary to help us modernize the station, comply with ADA-law and sync the main board with the gate boards, which will improve the overall customer experience for our Philadelphia customers,” added David Handera, Amtrak’s Vice President for Stations, Facilities, Properties and Accessibility.