• So Long Solari

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by mtuandrew
 
DutchRailnut wrote:There is no longer part,
Does Solari know that?

You can say there isn’t a budget for the parts, but to say the parts don’t exist (or couldn’t be made) is a bit much.
  by DutchRailnut
 
No Solari stopped making these type of model boards almost 15 years back and parts are no longer made. newer boards maybe.
but if you need to replace entire board LED is much cheaper in long run as no new labor or parts need to be acuired/trained.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Solari boards are fun, but they are fun because they have hundreds of moving parts. LED boards are simpler, should last longer, and, as a bonus, are much more flexible. In Oslo Sentralstasjon, busier than almost any station in the United States, they have an enormous LED board. About half of it shows at this link: https://www.tnp.no/norway/travel/3127-o ... on-reopens" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. At rush hour, they show two or three columns of departures and a column of arrivals, usually with an LED picture of a clock with a second hand at the top of one section. In less busy times, they show fewer departures and use the middle two columns of the screen to show a diagram of the railways of southern Norway, with lines numbered and color-coded. Nothing that couldn't be done with a mechanical clock, a mechanical board, and a fixed map, but still useful. And when there's a bus replacement or a delay they explain that one the board as well -- not something easily done on a mechanical Solari board.

Now, if Amtrak's new boards are playing ads, that's an annoying sign of inadequate funding and too much funding for competing modes (cars). And if Amtrak were replacing the boards as a kind of fashion statement, that would be silly. But as much as I love mechanical things I can't really see any reason other than nostalgia that a Solari board is better. Rollsigns, maybe. Metal or wooden signs hung up at the departure gate, maybe. But for the big announcement board, go with the no-moving-parts.
  by Tadman
 
DutchRailnut wrote:There is no longer part,
All your base are belong to us.
  by Tadman
 
Arborwayfan wrote:Now, if Amtrak's new boards are playing ads, that's an annoying sign of inadequate funding and too much funding for competing modes (cars).
Virtually any mode of transport has advertising. It don’t take that as inadequate funding but rather good use of assets. Airports, city buses, and subways all have advertising. Heck, Amtrak advertises at Chicago Midway.
  by hs3730
 
Arborwayfan wrote:Solari boards are fun, but they are fun because they have hundreds of moving parts. LED boards are simpler, should last longer, and, as a bonus, are much more flexible. In Oslo Sentralstasjon, busier than almost any station in the United States, they have an enormous LED board.
Singapore is the 18th busiest airport in the world (2017), and has a Solari flip board (pic mine). You can tell from the departure times that it has a heck of a lot more going on than the 30st one. My flight was at 5:50, 3rd upcoming departure, or I would have tried to video it changing.
  by adamj023
 
hs3730 wrote:
Arborwayfan wrote:Solari boards are fun, but they are fun because they have hundreds of moving parts. LED boards are simpler, should last longer, and, as a bonus, are much more flexible. In Oslo Sentralstasjon, busier than almost any station in the United States, they have an enormous LED board.
Singapore is the 18th busiest airport in the world (2017), and has a Solari flip board (pic mine). You can tell from the departure times that it has a heck of a lot more going on than the 30st one. My flight was at 5:50, 3rd upcoming departure, or I would have tried to video it changing.
Everything today should be packet based digital data and a display board just transmits a small amount of data. A disolay board is useless as we have smartphones which can transmit more information and can also transmit data at the same time so I always have wondered why display boards are even still utilized except by those who don’t have smartphones.

In the case of the JFK TWA Hotel, the refurbished Solari board just seeks to give a feel of a historical element to display information about flights at the new terminal. It does not represent the digital future.

The one at Penn Station was removed already so I don’t see why the one at Philadelphia should be any different. The Philadelphia board was not an original Solari board or a historically significant board and operating costs to maintain an old board are expensive.
  by 35dtmrs92
 
The Changi board may well be a newer model whose parts are not interchangeable with the Philadelphia board.
  by DutchRailnut
 
Some of these older Solari boards are over 50 years old, the pare parts are no longer available. and since everyone wants to preserve old boards it keeps old spareparts to minimum.
  by mtuandrew
 
adamj023 wrote:Everything today should be packet based digital data and a display board just transmits a small amount of data. A disolay board is useless as we have smartphones which can transmit more information and can also transmit data at the same time so I always have wondered why display boards are even still utilized except by those who don’t have smartphones.
Batteries run out of charge
Phones get dropped
Reception is bad
Service drops
Servers crash
Refresh rates differ
Humans err when sending app alerts

Also, there’s a lot to be said for a physical sign, whether digital, electromechanical, or manual. Riders can tell at a glance all of the relevant information about their train and the other trains, on their system or others. That kind of information synthesis is harder to get on a small screen. You also can’t compare notes as easily with other travelers. There’s a place for both kinds of technology.

And I just happen to like the Solari-style flipboards, though I realize that is by no means a compelling reason to keep them in service.
  by Station Aficionado
 
Not to mention, humans get older. As they get older, their focusing reserve diminishes. As their focusing reserve diminishes, it’s harder for them to see small print. I can read a display board without digging for my reading glasses. My iPhone screen not so much.
  by STrRedWolf
 
I just realized, as I'm looking at some hardware here...

What's the aspect ration (width to height) of the letters on the board? I bet I can program up a simulation that can plug into each letter. ;)

Also, has the Baltimore board been preserved, or is it scrap now? If the old boards have been taken down and just stored, that means "Spare parts" and "re-engineered parts".
  by Backshophoss
 
The "plan" is to send this board to RRMPA at Strasburg, so this board is being saved, and has a safe home to go to.
That should include the control computer and any spare parts on hand.
Red, why was the Baltimore Solari board stored not donated to the B&O Museum???
  by ryanov
 
My experience in the past is that the boards in the station do not display the exact same data as the online stuff. That does not have to be the case, but it so far has been for at least NJTransit.
  by Red Wing
 
Just add the Solari board flip sound to the new board like they did in Boston.