The TERNKEY system.

21st century train control for

minor railways - and maybe others too!



Thinking of extending your railway, but haven't sorted out how to run more trains?

Frustrated by your railway's lack of operating flexibility? 

Then welcome to the TERNKEY networked keytoken train dispatch system.


TERNKEY uses robust traditional-style keytoken machines activated by train crew in conjunction with a line controller, with movements vetted by a remote master unit.

The keytoken machines are manufactured using commercially available components. They are mass produced and standardized and so don't rely on the availability of any sort of secondhand heritage kit. There's no need to scratch around finding something that has to be butchered for it to work. Being entirely modular, all components can be changed without in-depth technical knowledge.


Most importantly, there is no electronic equipment on a loco or any part of the train.


The equipment can be entirely portable. This means that the controller can be anywhere - even mobile. The token machines can be taken back into store when the railway is not in use


The system is flexible and can accommodate long and short section working, engineers' possessions, banking engines and most other defined operating variations. 

It can even safely shorten an authority 'on the fly'.


It has been developed with minor railways specifically in mind  using robust Internet technology - although it could work for other applications as well.

Versions could be used to tide over when conventional signalling is out of action or perhaps to control train movements in possessions.

The system was on trial for over a year using prototype equipment. 

The version shown above formed the first part of a scheme to increase line capacity and operating flexibility on the Isle of Man steam railway system. 

It was successfully commissioned during the summer of 2016. 

If you need to inject a bit of technology into your railway then just drop a line to Grahame Taylor on 

Stop press - 

Patent granted! - number GB2523100

Site updated 17/2/18




© Tern Systems Ltd. 2018     Company number  05297363

Grahame Taylor - Director