ISSUE | 30TH STREET STATION
Losing a piece of Philly's soul
Please Amtrak, don't remove the departures flip board ("A beloved sound will pass," Sunday).
In the last 50 years, I have passed through 30th Street Station hundreds of times. It has been wonderful to see this building slowly restored to its original art deco grandeur. The Angel of the Resurrection statue is one of the most emotionally moving pieces of art in the city. The Spirit of Transportation sculpture powerfully displays the evolution of man and the modes of transportation created over time.
And then there is the departures flip board. It, too, defines what a classic train station is all about. It defines part of what 30th Street Station is all about. It is part of Philadelphia.
|Patricia Ryan Platt, Westtown Township, firstname.lastname@example.org
Flipping out over board's departure
Shame on Amtrak for planning to replace its Solari-made, flipping display board at 30th Street Station.
The soft clickety-clack sound echoing like a babbling brook among moving and waiting passengers in that great, cavernous hall is the essence of the majestic station. Seeing your train emerging at the bottom of the board, and then flipping, flowing, climbing to the top, is as pleasing as watching an approaching train. That clickety-clack is a town crier telling Amtrak passengers: "Put down the newspaper, look to the board, because your train is getting closer, or it's delayed."
No doubt, a cold, silent, digital board will be less prone to mechanical breakdown, but it will lack character. Retiring 30th Street Station's Solari board is as incongruous as installing a digital clock on Big Ben.
|Rosamond Kay, Philadelphia
Keep the distinctive 'clickety-clack'
The clickety-clickety-clack of the Amtrak departures flip board at 30th Street Station is more than the signature sound of the station - it is also an audible indicator that some piece of information is changing (arrival, departure, delay). As part of the upgrading to an LED display, why not digitize the sound of the flip board and use it as a sort of ringtone, alerting passengers to look for updates?