Poorly Pilk

Visitors to Apedale may have noticed that the diesel passenger service has, in the latter part of the season, been operated exclusively by the yellow Baguley Drewry. This is because the other air braked diesel, No.13 (Motor Rail 11142) has been distinctly unwell. This loco used to work for Pilkington Glass – hence known to one and all at Apedale as “The Pilk”. There had been a little concern about the clutch earlier in the year, but some minor adjustments seemed to resolve the problem. Then, one Saturday mid-season, the driver found it was emitting the most horrendous noises of mechanical trauma. The driver sensibly stopped the engine – fortunately with the train stood safely at Silverdale Station, called for assistance, and that was that for The Pilk for the time being. The need to prioritise other matters – like the Tracks to the Trenches event – meant that the repair had to wait its turn. That turn is now with us.
When Motor Rail locos are built, the first thing to be added to the basic frame is a gearbox. Then the clutch. Then everything else. Hence, getting into the clutch means almost everything else has to come off the loco, leaving it with a rather stripped-down, racy look. The failure appears to be due to a cracked outer race in a clutch bearing deciding to finally let go completely. The bearing has now been replaced, and the loco is at the re-assembly stage. Hopefully this will be complete by the time we reach the Santa Season, details of which can be here. As ever, get in touch here.