GWR electric token apparatus

(below is a transcription of a 1936 GWR document, based on one
provided by Tim Venton in connection with his Clutton layout)



Great    Western    Railway





Double and Single Lines

(To come into operation on August 1st, 1936.)

General  Manager.


                        ELECTRIC TRAIN TOKEN.
The diagram shewn below represents the Electric Token instrument, when it is in its normal position, that is, when there is no train in the section, and also shews Token :—

GWR electric token apparatus - Tyer's No 9 Key Token instrument

The Electric Train Token apparatus consists essentially of (see diagram) :—

A plunger (A).  For transmitting bell signals to the distant Token station or for sending a current to release a token.

A pointer (B).  For indicating to each Signalman the state of the token section at any time. A switch operated by this pointer also works the keyless disc at an intermediate level crossing where such a disc is provided.

A Token (C).

A magazine with four slots for receiving Tokens (D).

An indicator (E).  For indicating all outgoing and incoming signals sent on the plunger from either end of the section.

Each instrument is provided with a separate bell.

To work a single line between stations "A" and "B" on this system requires an instrument at "A" and another at "B", and the single line between is called a "Token Section."

The two instruments for the section are furnished with a number of Tokens. Only one of these Tokens can be taken out of the instrument at any time, except when taken out by the Telegraph Lineman as shewn in Electric Token Block Regulations 23, 25 and 35.

A Token can be replaced in either instrument at any time without any communication being made with the opposite end of the section. The Tokens for each token section controlled from any on token station differ essentially, as do also the Token instruments, so that a signalman or other person in charge of the instruments who has more than one set of tokens to deal with cannot by mistake place a Token in the wrong instrument. Under no circumstances may any unauthorised person be allowed to touch the instruments.

Outline of Working.

"A" and "B" represent two Token stations.
"A" sends "Call attention."
"B" returns "Call attention."
"A" sends "Is line clear?"
"B" returns "Line Clear" and when pressing in plunger for the last time keeps it in and watches the needle of indicator until it regains the upright position, when he releases the plunger.
"A" takes out Token, which act will cause the bell of his instrument to ring once, but this must NOT be understood as the signal coming from "B".
"A" turns pointer to "Up Token Out" or "Down Token Out" as the case may be. "B" turns pointer to "Up Token Out" or "Down Token Out" as the case may be.
"A" sends "Train entering section."
"B" returns "Train entering section."
"B" on arrival of train places Token in instrument, sends "Train out of section," and turns pointer switch to "Token In."
"A" returns "Train out of section" and turns pointer to "Token In."

The apparatus will now be in the normal position and ready for the passage of another train through the section. When taking out a Token from the instrument it is necessary that it should be lifted from the magazine to the aperture in the centre at the top and pressed therein in a similiar manner to a key being used in an ordinary lock, and when in this position must be turned to the left, or in an anti-clockwise direction until the movement is checked, when it can be withdrawn.

In placing a Token in the instrument it must be pressed into the aperture in the centre and turned to the right, or in a clockwise direction, and then lowered into either of the columns of the magazine.

NOTE.—A Token must not be left in the aperture at the top, but must in all cases be taken out of the instrument, or lowered into the magazine as the case may be.

Under no circumstances may any unauthorised person be allowed to touch the instruments.


Instructions for Working Auxiliary Electric Train Token Instruments at Places where the Token is withdrawn by the Fireman.

The Fireman must first obtain permission from the Signalman by means of the telephone to withdraw the Token. When this permission has been given, the Fireman must lift the Token from the column to the centre opening of the instrument, press the Token forward as if using an ordinary key in a lock (the key end of the Token must engage on the centre pin of the instrument), then turn the Token right to left as far as possible. The Fireman must then wait until the bell rings and afterwards continue to turn the Token from right to left until the Token is free, when it can be withdrawn from the instrument. He must then inform the Signalman on the telephone that the Token has been withdrawn.