This blog post is dedicated to Oom Japie Terblanche.
The staff and ticket system was still too inflexible for busy lines, as it did not allow for the situation where the train intended to carry the actual token was cancelled or running very late. To provide for this, the electric train token system was developed.
Each single-line section is provided with a pair of token instruments, one at the signal box at each end. A supply of identical tokens is stored in the instruments, which are connected by telegraph lines. A token can be removed from one instrument only if both signalmen co-operate in agreeing to the release. Once a token has been removed, another cannot be removed until the token which is “out” is replaced in either instrument. In this way, it can be ensured that at any one time, only one token is available to be issued to a driver. Tokens belonging to adjacent sections have different configurations to prevent them being inserted into the wrong instrument.
In the next blog post, we continue looking at the Token System. Thank you for reading!