A one-third size Australian steam engine was drawing the Furness crowds over the August bank holiday weekend in 1993.

Under the headline ‘Aussie bush loco on Ratty tracks’, The Mail reported that a version of a famous Tasmanian K-class Garratt steam loco had been hauling visitors up and down the track at the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway for the past week.

Normally, the engine operated on a 4km track through Tasmanian bush country, thought to be the steepest line in the world.

It was Australian Alister Matheson’s idea to bring the engine to England.

He said: “It seemed like a good adventure. I spend a lot of time in England, and I enjoy the railways.

“I think the Ravenglass 15in track is one of the best in the world.”

And any tourist who visited the line over the weekend might find themselves part of an Australian documentary.

Mr Matheson said: “A Channel Nine crew are following us around. The film is to be released worldwide on video as well.”

The locomotive was due to run on the Ravenglass line for two more days.

It was on permanent loan to the National Railway Museum in York.

In August 1994 The Mail reported that the history of the Furness Railway was coming under the spotlight.

A local steam railway enthusiast had written a book on the railway line and was preparing for the book’s launch at Barrow’s Dock Museum.

The Furness Railway was the work of retired VSEL worker Ken Norman, from Yewdale Avenue, Barrow.

Mr Norman, 70, was head of non-destructive testing at VSEL and was a self-confessed steam buff who had written other books about railways.

Illustrated with more than 400 photographs from the Sankey Collection, the book was packed with interesting facts about the railway, which was founded in 1846.

The book, published by Silver Link Publishing Ltd, of Peterborough, would be the centrepiece of an exhibition on the Furness Railway at the Dock Museum.