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Penn Station departures board to be taken down Monday

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-22 20:01:19-05
Passengers gather near the departures board at Penn Station. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Passengers gather near the departures board at Penn Station. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Commuters will get their last look at the iconic Amtrak train departures board in Pennsylvania Station on Monday.

Crews will begin dismantling the board in the station’s main concourse around 10 p.m. Amtrak workers will then install smaller video screens throughout the station. Large video walls with train status information will also be installed at the end of the concourse.

The 10-foot-high board is being taken down to ease the congestion in the center of the Penn Station. Officials hope the screens spread throughout the station would help avoid creating the massive crowd that would constantly assemble in front of the departures board.

The new Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) was first activated last October. The LCD displays give the same information as the big board, but they will be easier to read and will also synchronize audio and visual messaging in the station, an Amtrak news release said. A few of the displays have already been installed.

The train departures board has been a staple in Penn Station for years. About 665,000 commuters pass through the station daily, squinting at the board and waiting to see what track their train is departing from.

News of the board being dismantled was first reported last August. Many people were sadden that the archaic board, despite its flaws, was fading away.

“It is a piece of Penn Station,” Joe Monastiero told The New York Times, who first reported the board’s replacement.