Digital signage will soon be welcoming train passengers to Baltimore at a renovated Penn Station, according to an announcement from Amtrak, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Visit Baltimore.
Amtrak recently gave the two Baltimore organizations permission to proceed with plans to install new landscaping and a video welcome sign on the track level of Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station.
The project will have four components: a large "Baltimore" sign; an LED digital signage screen showing promotional videos about Baltimore; new landscaping for the hill on the north side of the tracks; and new fencing at the top of the hill.
Much of the design has been done and fabrication of the signage and video screen base are set to begin. Installation of the project is expected to be completed in 2013. The contractors are Mahan Rykiel (landscape architects); Gutierrez Studios (design concept and fabrication of the sign and video mount); EBA engineering; and NV3 (video consultation) in conjunction with Incite LED Media Group/QST LED.
"Penn Station is a major gateway and the all-important first impression of our city for tens of thousands of passengers each year," said Kirby Fowler, president of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, in the announcement. "We looked at the overall quality of that experience and felt this is something we can do in the near term to improve it."
"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."
According to the announcement, Baltimore Penn Station is the eighth busiest station in the Amtrak national network and growing. In the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, more than 1 million passengers travelled through the station, which represents an increase of 7.9 percent over the prior year.
Read more about LED digital signage.