Day 8: What’s in a Spares Box

Drawer No. 8: Motive

Finally we reach the end of our tour of the spares box. Here we’ll look at motive, or armatures, which come in as the most expensive replacement part, at anywhere between over £12 to over £16.

if you own a large fleet of locomotives and add second-hand stock to your collection then it’s essential to keep a few spares. Second-hand locomotives sometimes come with motirs which are either burnt out or have broken windings. They could be burnt out due to split gears – one common misunderstanding is that if a loco doesn’t go, applying full whack on the power won’t change that, all it will do is burn out the motor.


I shan’t go into detail as to what’s in each compartment here, other than to say it consists of the following armatures;

Type I: For steam locomotives and class 08 shunter (Includes worm gear at one end)

Type II: For most diesels

Type III: For DMU 101 and GWR Railcars (includes press-fitted 16 tooth gears at either end)

Type IV: For class 87/90 electric locomotives (includes brass fly-wheel at one end)

You can find out more about these armatures and what they look like here. Essentially the motors are the same, except for the length of their shafts and the attachments on them (worm gear, fly-wheel etc.)

You will see some armatures above that have been bagged and tagged. Again this is to help with later assessment and fault finding. It’s 50/50 whether they can be repaired, depending upon what’s wrong with them.

Also in the drawer you can see pole pieces for spreading the magnetism. There is a good section on these here.

one vital component not in this drawer, and stored separately due to then being so tiny, are the carbon brushes. Theses are smaller than a coupling spring and at £4.50 for tour, they’re kept in a small drug tablet box for safe keeping.

i hope you have enjoyed reading about the spares involved in keeping the Poole Farish locos on the rails! If there’s anything you would like to add then please use the comments box below – your e-mail address will not be published.


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