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Dead medium: Train Token Signals System
From: From: MSCHUBIN/0001970179@MCIMAIL.COM (Mark Schubin), Jermey), and Riemens)

Source(s): personal experiences

From Mark Schubin (MSCHUBIN/0001970179@MCIMAIL.COM):

The flagged-baton medium may no longer be used on trains but it's very much alive with some highway repair crews. A few years ago, in Wyoming USA, we waited in line to go over a lengthy, curved stretch of highway that had been reduced to one lane by construction work. As the last car coming from our direction, we were given a baton with a flag to hold out the driver's window as we negotiated the section. When we got to the other end, the crew there relieved us of the baton and held it for the last car on their side.

Last year, in a similar situation in Colorado, we were followed by an official vehicle, which then turned around for a return trip. I think the baton is much more efficient.

TTFN, Mark

From Jonathan Jermey (

Token signals were still in use for freight trains in New South Wales, Australia, up until the 1990's. A recent poster shows a freight train stopped at a signal box with the driver hurrying across to pick up his token == in this case an embossed metal card.

From Patrice Riemens (

As far as I know, the token system is still very much in use in India (and Pakistan, and Bangla Desh, Sri Lanka, etc. etc.) There the 'token' looks like a big tennis racket (without wire), the token itself being a brass ball kept in the handle with leather straps. The 'racket' (for the past section) is thrown on the platform from the locomotive cab, while the driver (or his assistant) extends an arm outside and picks up the (next section) 'racket,' which is held up by the station master (or his assistant). The brass ball is needed to lock/unlock signals and points in the signal cabin. Quite a sight!

Cheers, Patrice