Philly Solari board may stay put afterall

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PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia congressman may have persuaded Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson to keep the iconic Solari train annunciator board in place at 30th Street Station, according to reports in local media. It had been reported that the device would be retired and donated to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Rep. Brendan Boyle said he had discussed the sign with Anderson during a phone call earlier this week. Boyle said Anderson told him the donation to the museum “wasn't a done deal.” Boyle's call to Anderson may have been influenced by an on-line petition to keep the sign in place that received more than 1600 signatures.

According to Boyle, Anderson was receptive to keeping the sign at 30th Street and even suggested it could be refurbished for continued use or replaced by a newer version that would be compatible with Amtrak's computer system. The current machine, installed in the 1970s requires obsolete Windows 95 technology to operate.

Boyle said that in spite of Amtrak's November announcement that the Solari board would be replaced in January 2019, it has not yet released bid documents for a new digital. If that's true, he said, perhaps the specifications could be revised to allow for flip-board manufacturers to bid.

A news release last month said the retired Solari board had been promised to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania at Strasburg. The museum is currently in the midst of a $4.5 million upgrade of its exhibits, and the Solari board was to be part of that upgrade.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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