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January 25, 2019

Beloved Amtrak sign at 30th Street officially leaves the station this weekend

Amtrak 30th Street Station
amtrak 30th street sign Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The vintage split-flap board in 30th Street Station.

Philadelphia's famous Solari split-flap board, the centerpiece of 30th Street Amtrak station, is officially departing.

Crews were spotted at 30th Street Station on Thursday night beginning to dismantle the Amtrak arrivals-and-departures sign. There has been talk of removing the vintage display, known for its clickity-clacking sound, for more than two years, despite a recent resurgence in pushback to recreate the throwback design instead of going digital. 

As the crews disassembling the sign were spotted and photos and video posted social media Thursday night, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle issued a joint statement with Amtrak, saying a new Passenger Information Display System was necessary to comply with ADA law and to sync the main board with gate boards.

“We too have a deep appreciation for the board as part of our history and are working with Congressman Boyle and other leaders to make sure this board has a temporary home at The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania until it can be reincorporated into the station for everyone to enjoy," said Amtrak's David Handera in the statement.

According to Boyle's statement, the board will be completely taken down by the end of the weekend.

There will be about a month between the split-flap board coming down and a new board replacing it, a job that's scheduled to be completed by late February. Until then, travelers using 30th Street Station will have to rely on Amtrak staff and smaller, temporary boards, for for arrival and departure info, according to Boyle's statement.

Some on social media recorded footage of the sign's swan song as crews started to take it down Thursday, even as it continued its click-clacking.

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