Baltimore's historic Pennsylvania Station is getting a facelift that includes a large digital signage component. According the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore, Amtrak gained the groups permission to proceed with plans to install new landscaping and a video welcome sign on the track level of the facility.

The project will have four components, the groups said, one of which will be digital signage to show promotional videos about Baltimore. Installation of the project is expected to be completed in 2013.

Downtown Partnership and Visit Baltimore will fund the effort with partners including Amtrak, the Central Baltimore Partnership and the Charles Street Development Corporation. Gutierrez Studios has provided design concept and fabrication of the sign and video mount and NV3 is providing video consultation along with Incite LED Media Group/QSTech.

"When train passengers look up as they arrive at our station, they currently see a barren hill. We saw an opportunity to improve that experience by welcoming travelers and creating video signage that will convey positive news and images about Baltimore," said Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore. "There is no overstating the value of that first impression as travelers pull into the station."

Baltimore Penn Station is the eighth busiest station in the Amtrak national network and growing, the project partners said. In the fiscal year ending September 30, more than one million passengers travelled through the station, a 7.9 percent increase from last year.

For more stories like this, visit the transportation research center.

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