John Speller's Web Pages Furness Railway

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Furness Railway Untitled Untitled
The The Furness Railway was incorporated by an Act of 23 May 1844 and was opened to iron ore and slate traffic from Kirkby-in-Furness to Rampside on 11 August 1846. Passenger traffic commenced on 1 December 1846. The first train was hauled by engine No. 3 "Old Coppernob" which is happily preserved in the National Railway Museum at York. The Engineer was John Robinson McClean (1813-1873).

The Furness Railway, headquartered in Barrow-in-Furness, initially had an extensive mineral traffic, but it rapidly also became a tourist line as the Lake District became a popular vacation spot in the second half of the nineteenth century.

The line extended to Whitehaven by 1865 and a joint line linking to the Midland Railway was added in 1867. Perhaps the most curious occurrence to have occurred on the line took place in 1892, when an 0-6-0 locomotive disappeared underground when some old mine workings beneath collapsed. Though the tender was rescued, the hole was filled in and the locomotive is still presumably down there today. The Furness Railway became part of the LMS system in the Grouping of 1923.
Map of the Furness Railway
Bury 0-4-0 No. 3, nicknamed "Old Coppernob," which hauled the first train on the Furnace Railway in 1846. On withdrawal the locomotive was put on display on the platform of Barrow-in-Furness station, which was heavily damaged by German bombing in World War II, resulting in some denting to the locomotive. It has now been happily restored to its former glory and is on display at the National Railway Museum in York
Chariot-ended inspection coach built for Sir James Ramsden, Managing Director of the Furness Railway, by Wright & Co. of Birmingham in 1865. The coach was withdrawn in 1894 and after standing for some years in Barrow Works was purchased by the Station Master of Barrow-in-Furness, who used it as a summer house in his garden. It disappeared around World War II
The ultimate development of Furness locomotive power, D. L. Rutherford's massive 4-6-4 tank No. 115, one of five built by Kitson & Co. in 1920. Such a massive engine was unusual for its date in having inside cylinders
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