Sadly for rail fans (we know you’re out there), the time has finally come: the old-school Amtrak departure board at Penn Station is getting a modern makeover; soon, the curret piece of commuter history will be a thing of the past.
According to NJ.com, Amtrak crews will start disassembling the 10-foot-high overhead board on Monday night, ultimately replacing the giant timetable with LCD video displays. The board’s demolition is the final step in the installation of Amtrak’s Passenger Information Display System, which was first activated in October.
“The idea is to improve the passenger experience through more dynamic, easier to read and strategically located information points throughout the concourse," an Amtrak rep said back in August. The video displays—there will be nearly 40 of them—should help improve traffic flow, and will also make departure times more accessible to passengers with disabilities. All good things!
But while Amtrak officials say the new video displays will be both more convenient and easier to read, NJ.com is not without nostalgia for the board of yore:
Removing the boards will mean the end of a commuting ritual where riders gather under the board, wait for the track number of departing trains to be posted, followed by dash of riders to get a seat.
RIP, Amtrak departure board. You will (sort of) be missed.