ARGENT

The double track section between Delmas and Ogies in Mpumalanga province was one of the last great holdouts of semaphore signalling in South Africa, including some of the largest remaining lever frames. This is an important coal mining area, and there are still about 30 trains daily from here to the nearest port at Richard's Bay. Argent is a station 103 kms from Johannesburg and featured a frame of 48 levers controlling five running lines through the station, controlled from this area in the front of the station building.

Although the station buildings and area look fairly run down (there are no passenger trains), the lever frame was in excellent condition, and looks like it was repainted recently (I visited in November 2005). Here is a view of the entire lever frame at Argent.

A closer view of the first 15 levers. Note the distant signal lever (lever 1) painted green, and the outer home (lever 2) painted red and green.

The up home signal (in the Johannesburg/Delmas direction) protecting entry to the three up running lines in the station area, against the backdrop of grain silos.

The three up starting signals at the end of these running lines.

Starting signals in the down direction towards Ogies, Witbank and Richards Bay. One of the many power stations in the area is in the background.

3 x 10E's on a westbound (up) train of empty chrome wagons for Rusteburg Ferrochrome are seen passing the starter signal at Argent on Saturday 25th June 2005. Photo by Eugene Armer. Sadly, this location was converted to CTC late in 2006.
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