Philly Solari Board May be Headed to Museum

The venerable Solari train status board that for years has given information about Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and SEPTA trains at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia appears to be headed for a museum.

The board is expected to be removed from the station in January 2019 and moved to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

It is Amtrak’s last active electro-mechanical train information board and is named after an Italian company that made the flap display signs.

An electromechanical display device whirs and shows alphanumeric text in a manner similar to that of some alarm clocks. Solari boards were also used at some airports.

The boards are noted for their clickty-clack sounds as they updated train or flight status information. Replacing the Solari board is a digital annunciator.

In Philadelphia, the Solari board was installed aboard the information counter of the waiting room in the 1970s.

It was updated in the 1980s and has been kept going by using replacement parts from retired boards.

Although no formal agreement has been signed to move the sign to the Pennsylvania museum, the facility’s director said Amtrak has made a verbal offer.

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