So Long Solari

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Re: So Long Solari

Postby jamesinclair » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:18 pm

Which Amtrak station still has a Solari. Trenton maybe?
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby TrainPhotos » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:43 pm

jamesinclair wrote:Which Amtrak station still has a Solari. Trenton maybe?


Owned by NJT, as is Newark penn. Only two NJ stations not owned by NJT: metropark (Amtrak), Newark airlink station (PANYNJ). Trenton has the larger ADA compliant flappy board, and is augmented with several PID screens throughout the station.
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby CHIP72 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:27 pm

I haven't posted here for a few years, but I wanted to share some information. I took a day trip to Philadelphia from DC on Saturday, with the focal point of the trip being the Philadelphia Big Five college basketball game between St. Joseph's and Penn that evening at the Palestra, which is within walking distance of 30th Street Station. When I got back to 30th Street Station that evening after the game (probably at about 9:15 PM), the staging area for the Solari board removal had already been set but the board itself had not yet been removed. I knew the Solari board was going to be removed, but I did not realize it was going to be removed on Saturday night; it was a total coincidence that I was at the station when it was removed. My train back to DC was not scheduled to leave until 10:30 PM, so I was able to take many photos, I'd guess about 50, during the entire removal process. I'll share some of them here.

This photo shows the board strapped up and ready to be removed via crane:
30th Street Station Solari board removal 1.JPG
Last edited by CHIP72 on Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby CHIP72 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:35 pm

Here are some more photos:

30th Street Station Solari board removal 4.JPG


30th Street Station Solari board removal 5.JPG


30th Street Station Solari board removal 6.JPG
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby CHIP72 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:37 pm

A few more photos:

30th Street Station Solari board removal 7.JPG


30th Street Station Solari board removal 9.JPG


30th Street Station Solari board removal 10.JPG
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Re: So Long 30th Street Station-PHL Solari Board

Postby MACTRAXX » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:48 am

chuchubob wrote:Parts were removed Thursday evening and overnight, but the boards were still flipping Friday afternoon.
camera facing west

Bob and Everyone:
In Bob's photographs that were taken I noticed something written on the steel cross bar to the
right - note the 91 - could this be the year or date (1991) that this was constructed - and could
possibly date this Solari board even younger then we have speculated all along?

There are possible sources of information that can help determine when this second board was
installed replacing the earlier early 1970s vintage Solari board:
-Amtrak NEWS monthly employee newsletter
-Philadelphia Chapter NRHS "Cinders"
-The 30th Street Station Renovation Plan details (1989-1991) may show that a new updated
Solari board was to be a part of this project.

There was further news coverage:
https://6abc.com/travel/iconic-30th-str ... ed/5108205
http://www.philly.com/news/philadelphia ... 90127.html
(subject to Inquirer paywall)

With photos available of the earlier Solari board and its placement (north and south) and the
differences between the two boards why was that distinction not reported correctly?

Even the Amtrak spokeswoman interviewed was either unaware or uncertain of the true age of
this board - which may date from 1990-91 making it about 28 years old.

In this case it can be understandable that this date mistake has been made - both boards used
basically the same type of information technology from the same manufacturer.

One news report even shows the old chalkboard - a PRR relic - that was used back in the
days before automatic information boards were installed. The chalk board is on rollers and
has been retained for use in the event the Solari board was not in service.

Solari boards have had a presence even before Amtrak in NEC stations - the first Solari boards
used at Penn Station New York were installed in 1968 - and with these boards being replaced
ends what turned out to be a 50 year period of use at stations in the Northeast Corridor.

It is sad to some extent to see them go but unfortunately that's progress...MACTRAXX
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby JamesRR » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:26 am

It's very possible it's newer than the 70s. When the LIRR did their big renovation in Penn in the early 90s, they replaced all the displays with new Solari flap displays (which were themselves replaced with digital screen versions a few years ago). So, these boards were being installed new well into the 90s.

And, in fact, all the boards at Secaucus Junction are Solari flap displays, installed in the early 2000s. Wouldn't be surprised if the Philly one was replaced during the renovation there.
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:34 pm

TrainPhotos wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:Which Amtrak station still has a Solari. Trenton maybe?


Owned by NJT, as is Newark penn. Only two NJ stations not owned by NJT: metropark (Amtrak), Newark airlink station (PANYNJ). Trenton has the larger ADA compliant flappy board, and is augmented with several PID screens throughout the station.


Newark, Metropark, and Newark Airport do not have solaris.

Am I correct in that Trenton is the last Amtrak stop on the NEC with one?
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby Acela150 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:29 pm

The replacements frame is in place as of 5pm on the 28th.
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby ryanov » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:44 am

That temporary board is awful.
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby RRspatch » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:39 am

jamesinclair wrote:
TrainPhotos wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:Which Amtrak station still has a Solari. Trenton maybe?


Owned by NJT, as is Newark penn. Only two NJ stations not owned by NJT: metropark (Amtrak), Newark airlink station (PANYNJ). Trenton has the larger ADA compliant flappy board, and is augmented with several PID screens throughout the station.


Newark, Metropark, and Newark Airport do not have solaris.

Am I correct in that Trenton is the last Amtrak stop on the NEC with one?


I believe New Carrollton still has a Solari board. That station opened in 1983.
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby liftedjeep » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:20 pm

1. I was informed by a former Amtrak employee that the Solari Board that was recently removed from 30th St Station was put up in 1986, replacing the original which had been installed in 1971. Itself replacing a chalkboard.

2. The 30th St Station Solari was the final board of that type in use by Amtrak at any of its stations.

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Re: So Long 30th Street Station-PHL Solari Board

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:46 am

Ben: 1986 makes sense in the subject on the age of the Solari board at 30th Street Station.
This was part of station improvements made in the years 1983 to 1987. Other new Solari boards
with similar updated functions were installed in the middle 1980s at NEC stations - Penn Station
New York and Baltimore Penn Station come to mind here among others mentioned.

What may have been the case at 30th Street was that the board was replaced in 1986 and then
moved from facing north and south as the previous board as part of the renovation project just
a few years later to face east and west in 1991.

Any idea what the fate of the 1971 board may have been?
Is the RM of PA getting the control console for the 1986 board allowing it to be operational?

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Re: So Long Solari

Postby ChesterValley » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:07 pm

Amtrak has the new board up https://i.imgur.com/UjG5bAv.jpg

Somehow the time is smaller than on the old board, and the new automated PA system is terrible. Someone at Amtrak didn't realize that 30th street is echoy by nature, and the audio system reverbs so much you can't hear any announcement.
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Re: So Long Solari

Postby ryanov » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:21 pm

I was there last night and could swear I heard an automated clacking noise at one point. Did I imagine that/hear something else, or did they put that into the board without bothering to have any sort of visual accompaniment?
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