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Solari Board at PHL

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I won't disagree with practical utility.  That doesn't mean the resulting structure doesn't look awful;-)

The Brits appear to like it They are apparently going for something similar at Euston, minus the original building.

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Sometimes it will be still for a minute or two. For example, if you look at the actual time on the screen, it is 12:28, and the first train listed is 12:31 and is boarding. The rest are late or on time, with a couple boarding. So at 12:28, nothing will change til the people finish boarding and a train departs. So no spinning on the board for a couple of minutes, because nothing has changed. 

(Gorgeous photo of the Main Hall, by the way, NorthShore:).)

For those of you who will miss the Solari board at Philly, there is a consolation prize. The lovely wooden benches are staying:). They are being renovated and having outlets put in them for people's devices, but they are keeping true to the historic character. (I found this out because I was commuting for a while with a woman whose husband is doing the renovations.) I sat on one the other week with the new outlets, and they are very unobtrusive--the bench was just as attractive as it used to be.

Edited by Mystic River Dragon

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On 12/9/2018 at 10:08 PM, NorthShore said:

The Solari in Philly....it's so....small.

Somehow, I had always imagined something more impressive up high on a wall.

Glad I got to see it, even though I didn't witness it spinning.

 

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Since when did they start listing bus departures on there? Bieber Tourways from Philadelphia to ________________? This appears to be the Thruway service to Allentown/Kutztown. I guess since it's an Amtrak-coded Thruway bus departure, it makes sense to list it there, but it still looks out of place.

That said, that demonstrates the limitations/challenges of that Solari Board. "Kutztown" was not an endpoint destination served by Amtrak when the board was installed. I'm sure you can get new destination flaps installed, but obviously they're not going to do that at this point.

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1 minute ago, fairviewroad said:

Since when did they start listing bus departures on there? Bieber Tourways from Philadelphia to ________________? This appears to be the Thruway service to Allentown/Kutztown. I guess since it's an Amtrak-coded Thruway bus departure, it makes sense to list it there, but it still looks out of place. That said, that demonstrates the limitations/challenges of that Solari Board. "Kutztown" was not an endpoint destination served by Amtrak when the board was installed. I'm sure you can get new destination flaps installed, but obviously they're not going to do that at this point. 

Or you could use individual characters for the destination column and not have to worry about it.  This isn't really a limitation of the technology so much as a bean counting move.

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Just now, Devil's Advocate said:

Or you could use individual characters for the destination column and not have to worry about it.  This isn't really a limitation of the technology so much as a bean counting move.

The only thing that isn't individual letters is the city pairs as well as the status of the train. 

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34 minutes ago, Acela150 said:

When Amtrak partnered with Bieber bus. That is when they started posting information. :) 

Um, okay.  :cool:

Perhaps that's correct. However, the Amtrak partnership with Martz Trailways pre-dates the Bieber partnership by two years (2015 vs. 2017). I don't recall seeing any Solari announcements for the Martz bus to Scranton, but it's entirely possibly I haven't happened to have been there at the right time of day. If the arrangement only started with Bieber, you have to wonder why Bieber gets that plug but not Martz.

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I thought that those things always just used individual letters? What is the point in using full words when you could have infinite possibilities just with letters?

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The Boston electronic board makes the requisite flipping sounds the last time I was there

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Just now, jis said:

The Boston electronic board makes the requisite flipping sounds the last time I was there emoji57.png

Those replacement sounds always seem so fake.  Reminds me of the speaker based crossing bells.  A real physical bell has a wide range of frequencies that are distinctive and obvious, but the cheaper low maintenance speaker versions sound like an AM radio broadcast compressed into a low bit rate audio stream.  Loud enough to be annoying but not clear enough to be an obvious warning.  Worst of both worlds.  Whatever "audio engineer" invented speaker based crossings needs to be tarred and feathered.

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4 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

Those replacement sounds always seem so fake.  Reminds me of the speaker based crossing bells.  A real physical bell has a wide range of frequencies that are distinctive and obvious, but the cheaper low maintenance speaker versions sound like an AM radio broadcast compressed into a low bit rate audio stream.  Loud enough to be annoying but not clear enough to be an obvious warning.  Worst of both worlds.  Whatever "audio engineer" invented speaker based crossings needs to be tarred and feathered.

Yeah...next thing they'll do is have giant loudspeaker "horn's" on locomotive's, instead of air-horns....:rolleyes:

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7 hours ago, fairviewroad said:

Um, okay.  :cool:

Perhaps that's correct. However, the Amtrak partnership with Martz Trailways pre-dates the Bieber partnership by two years (2015 vs. 2017). I don't recall seeing any Solari announcements for the Martz bus to Scranton, but it's entirely possibly I haven't happened to have been there at the right time of day. If the arrangement only started with Bieber, you have to wonder why Bieber gets that plug but not Martz.

And those were put on the board as well. :) Those Martz bus services are hit and miss. 

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7 hours ago, VentureForth said:

My main problem is that he doesn't represent the area of 30th Street. While he comes close. It's not his district to be fighting for. 

Long run. It won't be saved. As much as I want it to be saved. 

The main reason for PIDS, which would be installed is for ADA compliance. And that trumps nostalgia. 

Edited by Acela150

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Penn Station has the electronic Solaris board.  It's on the far west side of New York City.

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2 hours ago, Acela150 said:

My main problem is that he doesn't represent the area of 30th Street. While he comes close. It's not his district to be fighting for. 

Long run. It won't be saved. As much as I want it to be saved. 

The main reason for PIDS, which would be installed is for ADA compliance. And that trumps nostalgia. 

Eh, I bet plenty of his constituents use 30th Street on a regular basis. It (the station) is a regional asset. Perfectly fine in my book for him to take an interest in it.

That said, I suspect you are correct about the Solari Board's ultimate fate.

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8 hours ago, Acela150 said:

The main reason for PIDS, which would be installed is for ADA compliance. And that trumps nostalgia. 

How are the new PIDS, such as in NYP,  ADA compliant, whereas the current Solari board comes up short?

jb

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10 hours ago, gswager said:

Penn Station has the electronic Solaris board.  It's on the far west side of New York City.

Two things: Firstly, Penn Station is really just on the somewhat west side of Manhattan, not the far west side of NYC. (I know, I’m the worst)

Secondly, the electronic board used in NYP may be built by the same company, but the fact that is new and electronic means that you can’t really compare it at all to the flappy-flappy board in PHL. And yes, I did just call it a “flappy-flappy board”. :D

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3 hours ago, John Bobinyec said:

How are the new PIDS, such as in NYP,  ADA compliant, whereas the current Solari board comes up short?

jb

They have scrolling announcements that correspond with the information to assist the hearing impaired. The Solari board does not have any of those features.

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Bottom line is Solari a Italian company is no longer making spare parts for them flappy flappy boards. They went full digital with TV screens yes they have programs imitation the Flappy Flappy boards.

Edited by Dutchrailnut

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28 minutes ago, Thirdrail7 said:

They have scrolling announcements that correspond with the information to assist the hearing impaired. The Solari board does not have any of those features.

Or you could simply place a monochromatic LED character scoreboard below the Solari board and scroll as many tone deaf security alerts as you please.

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Just now, Devil's Advocate said:

Or you could simply place a monochromatic LED character scoreboard below the Solari board and scroll as many tone deaf security alerts as you please.

Indeed....and there was talk of doing just that..particularly in NYP.  However, by the time you do all of that, find space to accommodate the new board, consider the cost of maintaining both systems, especially when you consider this:

3 minutes ago, Dutchrailnut said:

Bottom line is Solari a Italian company is no longer making spare parts for them flappy flappy boards. They went full digital with TV screens yes they have programs imitation the Flappy Flappy boards.

Amtrak decided to just replace the boards with a new, modern system that also made its own robo announcements.

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Why do American railfans have this obsession about preserving things in situ instead of in museums, with no regard for costs and other collateral consequences?

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What does TRE have that looks like a Solari board but is not (when you first walk in the door)? It seems to do the same thing--flip and clack.

1 minute ago, jis said:

Why do American railfans have this obsession about preserving things in situ instead of in museums, with no regard for costs and other collateral consequences?

Perhaps because, compared to many countries, we have very little history and want to keep what we do have where it is? Also, I think Philly is particularly caught up in its history (although it's usually Colonial/American Revolution history) and would be more inclined to want to preserve the good parts of the past where they are.

I think now there's been a Philly Inquirer article on it and even an Action News short piece about it, the historic preservation people (not rail people--more general historic preservation) are finally aware of it and may get involved and make it a wider issue.

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9 minutes ago, jis said:

Why do American railfans have this obsession about preserving things in situ instead of in museums, with no regard for costs and other collateral consequences?

I don't think this is just about railfans. In general, people like comfort and there is comfort in familiarity.  When I'm in NYP, people STILL look for the "big departure" board (that has been gone for quite some time ) as a landmark and reference. 

 

It is familiar to them.

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