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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Plans are in motion to save the 30th Street Station’s famed flip board from the scrap yard. A local congressman is trying to make sure the iconic sign is preserved.
He’s lobbying to get a new board that meet’s Amtrak’s requirements, but still preserves the character of the original sign.
It’s the iconic board that train travelers at 30th Street Station have been drawn to for decades. But even more than seeing it, hearing it has become just as nostalgic.
“I come here all the time to go to New York for work and you just hear the dut, dut, dut dut,” traveler Shawn Hardie said. “It’s just something I’m use to.”
Pennsylvania congressman Brendon Boyle wants to make sure Amtrak passengers never have to get use to not hearing or seeing the board.
It’s been in place since 1971, but now as part of a $100 million redesign project, Amtrak hopes to replace it with TVs in order to modernize its system and become compliant with the Americanss with Disabilities Act.
“The sign that — right on cue, is flipping right now — is important to me and so many people feel the same way,” Boyle said.
Congressman Boyle says his office has been flooded with emails and calls from travelers hoping to preserved the old school board.
Thousands have also signed a petition online.
After meeting with Amtrak officials Monday morning, Boyle believes they can find a compromise.
“A sign that is ADA compliant, that connects with the existing Amtrak information system, that preserves the ambiance, the look and sound of the current sign,” Boyle said.
A Philadelphia-based engineering design company is hoping to recreate a sign that fits Amtrak’s needs and doesn’t lose the character that makes this one so endearing to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.
“It would look like this except a little bit bigger characters, because that’s a big part of ADA compliance, but it would still have authentic, electro-mechanical flapping sound,” Oat Foundry CEO Mark Kuhn said.
Oat Foundry will be meeting with Amtrak officials on Friday to present its version of an update flip board for the station.