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The Metropolitan

OBS Chief
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Apr 13, 2006
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849
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Baltimore, MD
One of my favorite things about train travel from my local station is the "flapboard" used to show arrivals and departures. In awaiting my train, it's always been enjoyable to watch it recycle, and flip through the digits for train name and number, not to mention the printed destinations, and numerous status boards available.

However, in my travels, I've noticed only three stations that seem to use these boards - my own Baltimore, as well as Philadelphia, and Newark NJ. I'd suspect others may exist at Wilmington and/or Trenton, but don't know. I recall reading where one did exist at South Station.

Most small stations seem to use groove boards with tack on letters, with a simple handwritten paper tacked on to denote status. Large ones seem to use display monitors, and perhaps, LED displays, but I tend to favor the sort of vintage tech feel of the flapboards.

Anyone else know where others can be found?
 

Anthony

Founder
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Aug 22, 2002
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Atlanta
One of my favorite things about train travel from my local station is the "flapboard" used to show arrivals and departures. In awaiting my train, it's always been enjoyable to watch it recycle, and flip through the digits for train name and number, not to mention the printed destinations, and numerous status boards available.
However, in my travels, I've noticed only three stations that seem to use these boards - my own Baltimore, as well as Philadelphia, and Newark NJ. I'd suspect others may exist at Wilmington and/or Trenton, but don't know. I recall reading where one did exist at South Station.

Most small stations seem to use groove boards with tack on letters, with a simple handwritten paper tacked on to denote status. Large ones seem to use display monitors, and perhaps, LED displays, but I tend to favor the sort of vintage tech feel of the flapboards.

Anyone else know where others can be found?
Boston and Providence too -- and Milan and some other Italian stations, off the top of my head.
 

George Harris

Conductor
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Apr 6, 2006
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now in California
If we are going foreign, Taipei, which current station was built in the late 1980's. With something like 400 trains a day the flaps are spinning often, and are labeled in both Chinese and English.
 

AlanB

Conductor
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Aug 22, 2002
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Queens, New York
New York Penn and New Haven, CT, are two more.
with regard to NYP, do you mean on the non-Amtrak concourses? The big sign on the Amtrak level is a digital display.
Yup, NY replaced their big Solari board a few years ago. A small one still exists next to the main board, but it usually displays a security message these days. And the LIRR just killed theirs this year, as well as the small ones next to the track entrances. Everything is now digital for the LIRR.
 
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G

Guest_ElNewBranch_*

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Even though I use it all the time, I can't remember for the life of me if Hoboken NJ (non-Amtrak) has gone digital.
 

jamesontheroad

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Jan 5, 2006
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622
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Västerbotten, Sweden
I can't find a suitable picture to show them, but I believe London Waterloo had the largest display in Britain: one extremely tall strip for each of the 21 domestic platforms. With a tree leaving or arriving once every few minutes during the rush hour, the sound of twenty lines of train information flapping around was a regular beat to the station's rhythm. Commuters waiting for their trains would stand gawping at the expected column, only to see their train disappear and then re-appear at another column (with the platform number) somewhere further along the display... It was usually more reliable to watch where the crowds suddenly surged to than to watch the display.

*j* :blink:
 

battalion51

Conductor
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Aug 23, 2002
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USA
I believe Grand Central has them in their main lobby and trackside (well at least from what I remember). Another prominent location is the stage for the musical guest on SNL which is a mockup of Grand Central. One of the coolest Solari boards though has to be the one from The Terminal (with Tom Hanks), definitely a cool addition to that film.
 

tp49

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Aug 23, 2002
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Penn must have went digital on the LIRR concourse sometime after New Years because there was one over by K-Mart at the end of December. GCT I believe already had digital boards by then. I always liked the solari boards.
 

AlanB

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Queens, New York
I believe Grand Central has them in their main lobby and trackside (well at least from what I remember).
Nope, GCT went to a digital LED setup a few years ago for the main boards. And I believe that the trackside boards have now all been replaced, although perhaps they are still doing them, not positive.

Penn must have went digital on the LIRR concourse sometime after New Years because there was one over by K-Mart at the end of December. GCT I believe already had digital boards by then. I always liked the solari boards.
Yes, they started this early this year and I think that they are all done now. If not, they they are pretty close to having all trackside displays converted over.
 
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