FLASHING blue police lights greeted a Victorian steam locomotive as it arrived at Barrow railway station by being transported the wrong way along a one way street.

The Mail, on Saturday, August 17 in 1996, noted: “Traffic police swooped on Barrow’s famous steam engine last night after catching it going the wrong way down a one way street.

“The train was caught on camera and officers gave chase with lights flashing.

“The driver was pulled over and grilled before being asked to report to the police station with his driver’s licence.

“And steamed up officers would only say today: ‘As a result of its movement our traffic police were called out and a report will be made’.

“The driver said he had to go down the wrong way with the train on his trailer because the streets were too narrow to manoeuvre.

“Coppernob, Barrow’s oldest railway engine, was also delayed on its journey to Barrow by a cement mixer on the line!

“The transporter carrying the 30 ton engine missed yesterday’s rendezvous with its police escort after it was stuck behind a broken down outside its home – York’s National Railway Museum.

“And a second hitch left it stuck in the city as it tried to turn right a quarter of a mile into its journey.

“Coppernob’s chimney and brass dome had to be removed to enable the 12ft 6in high engine to pass under railway bridges.

“Coppernob’s return is part of the celebrations to mark 150 years of the Furness Railway.

“The national treasure is on show outside Barrow station – just yards from its original spot where it was housed in a glass case for 42 years until a bomb blasted a hole in its boiler in 1941.”

The locomotive also went on display outside the Coronation Hall at Ulverston and at the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway before returning to York at the end of the month.

When the locomotive was withdrawn from service in 1898 it was thought to be the oldest locomotive still working in the world.

It had been designed by Edward Bury and built by Bury, Curtis and Kennedy of Liverpool as No 3 but its distinctive metal domed firebox soon attracted the nickname of Coppernob.

Coppernob left Barrow in 1924 to 1925 to be an exhibit at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley.

It was moved for safe keeping at Horwich after the destruction of its Barrow glass case in May 1941 and from 1975 has been at York.