According to the signal in the control room the light was on so I confirmed that he could carry on.
“Control, this is train 548 at Lukosi siding, the signal is out, can I carry on?”
Again, the signal in the control room showed it to be functioning correctly so I confirmed.
This was during the night so the signal should be visible from some distance, so I phoned Barry, the standby signal technician.
“OK, I’ll go and have a look”
Barry had to come to the station and place his trolley onto the tracks in order to go to the siding.
Thirty minutes later Barry stated that he was ready to go and I gave him the signals and points to depart.
Those of you who knew these trolleys know that they were very fast, he whizzed down the track and in no time he came on the radio.
“Boet, this signal with pole seems to have disappeared, I am going to get off the trolley and go and have a look”.
The torch he was holding was not very bright but he kept going.
When he reached the approximate position of the signal in the gloom he saw that a tree was standing where the signal was supposed to be. Putting his hand on the tree, to his amazement the tree moved, he jumped back in alarm and looked carefully at this tree. Slowly he backed off when he realised that it was an elephant that had gone to sleep next to the signal and was blocking the view of the trains to the signal.