PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The iconic 30th Street Station flipping board is gone. It displayed one final message as workers removed it from its perch Saturday night: “Farewell Philadelphia.”
Workers officially removed the historic “clickity-clack” sign from the Amtrak station Saturday night.
The board will be replaced by a modern, digital board, which Amtrak says is needed in accordance 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.
The removal began Thursday as workers dismantled some signage and the clock.
“Pretty sad, honestly. I really like it,” Camille Brito told Eyewitness News. “I take the train often and the clickety sound is definitely something I like.”
The board — officially known as The William H Gray III 30th Street Station Solari split-flap board — was installed in the 1970s.
Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., has been a big proponent of preserving the board’s historic feel inside the station. On Thursday, he released a statement on the sign’s removal and his hopes that the board will be reincorporated in the station in some fashion.
“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. “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, the new digital upgrades are scheduled to be completed by the end of February.
The flipping board will move to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Whether the move will be permanent remains to be seen.