email@example.com (Mark Roberts) wrote
> They are still in use at railway-station platforms on the Dutch
> national railways.
> I don't believe these were "Solari boards" which functioned on a
> similar principle and were often used on TV game shows to keep score.
"Solari" makes train station announcement boards that are in use in
many U.S. train stations.
Early models used flip over panels where one panel contained a city
name, another panel type of service (ie LOCAL, EXPRESS), etc. Later
models use tiny panels of single letters so that various messages
could be spelled out without physically changing the board. Many of
these boards are still in use.
Newer boards use illuminated displays which dispense with moving
parts. It was reported that in one station which got a new board,
they had to add a clicking sound that the prior mechanical panel made
so people would look up and check the board for changes.
I have found some illuminated panels harder to read than the
mechanical ones. Sometimes the letters are too thick and at a
distance "bleed" together; and there is also insufficient sharpness or
blackness of the background. I don't know if Solari makes the
It was kind of neat watching the displays change on the mechanical
These boards are much bigger than TV screens are with larger letters
and more information, but there is usually only one master panel per
station, with connected TV monitors at other places in the station.
There are also minature panels at track gates.
One psgr railroad carrier inherited manual pull down metal signs. The
gate usher would use a window pole and the sign was hinged. These
were replaced by TV monitors which didn't show as much information and
were inaccurate. There are other stations with badly working TV
monitors. That annoys the heck out of me because TV monitor departure
signage is very old technology and the implementers or operators are
just plain incompetent. If they can't run their computers, go back to
the hinged signs.