Follow CBSPHILLY Facebook | Twitter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The iconic 30th Street Station flipping board is coming down this weekend. That means no more clickety-clack sound at Philadelphia’s main train station.
It’s the end of an era as digital replaces analog as the way travelers get their information at 30th Street Station. The William H Gray III 30th Street Station Solari split-flap board was installed in the 1970s.
“Pretty sad, honestly. I really like it,” said Camille Brito. “I take the train often and the clickety sound is definitely something I like.”
Travelers took a moment from their busy commutes to mark the occasion. The Solari split-flap board is coming down and will be gone by this weekend.
An eyewitness captured video as workers started the process Thursday evening, removing the clock and some of the signage.
Amtrak says the change is necessary to modernize the station, sync the main board with the gate boards and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“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,” said David Handera, Amtrak’s vice president of passenger accessibility.
Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., has been working to save the sign. He tweeted that he is sad about the move, but is also glad that Amtrak has now committed to reincorporating the board into the station’s upgrades. However, it’s still unclear what form that will take.
“I appreciate Amtrak’s ongoing commitment to meeting this challenge with a solution that honors the history of 30th Street Station and ensures a safe, enjoyable experience for all passengers,” said Boyle in a statement. “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 – of which thousands of passengers have spoken out in support. I remain committed to continuing my advocacy with Amtrak to achieve such a resolution.”
In the meantime, travelers will see temporary displays until the full digital upgrades are complete by the end of February and the Solari is headed to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Travelers hope it comes back with the same look and sound, while others understand sometimes practicality prevails.
“Maintaining the clickety-clack, that’s the hard part,” said Drew Joosten. “Maintenance issues make this tough to keep up.”
“I guess everything’s going to chance technology. It’s been around a while. Some people may want something more modern,” said Rahman Johnson.