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Loftus Station

A neat and tidy Loftus Station with a Saltburn-bound train arriving, headed by the ubiquitous tank engine.  The Stationmaster is exchanging Tokens with the engine-driver, as Loftus was the end of one control block and the beginning of another in the Token-controlled single track railway system (basically the line was split into sections, each controlled by a token.  A train arriving at Loftus would surrender its Token (freeing up the section of track that it was leaving) and would receive a Token allowing it to proceed into the next section of track.  If there was still a train in the next section then the Stationmaster couldn’t give the engine driver a Token, so the train would be held at Loftus until the incoming train arrived and surrendered its Token).  This system is still in use on the Middlesbrough to Whitby branch, although, sadly there are no more Stationmasters and no more signal box staff (a control section always had a signal box), so there is a box on the control stations with a Victorian Lock Frame (to receive the Token) and another Victorian Lock Frame to dispense the next Token and a computer link to advise the Middlesbrough Control Centre of a ”train in section”.  All very sad, but I’ve no doubt all very efficient! Loftus still has trains passing through, but none stop. The line now serves the Cleveland Potash Mine and sadly passengers are no longer a feature of the line after it departs Saltburn. Although special ‘rail tours’  have on occasions used the line.

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