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The Great War found the Furness Railway serving an area which was destined to play a big part in Great Britain's war effort. Since the railway served Barrow, with its naval construction yards, and the gun-making plant of MESSRS. VICKERS, as well as the series of blast furnace plants at Carnforth, Ulverston, Barrow, Millom, and in the Cleator district, it can be imagined that a great increase in the volume of goods and mineral traffic would result.
For example, after 12 months of war, the cost of wagon renewals was up by £ 10,000 compared with 1912, and on the passenger side no less than 3,000 workmen's tickets were issued. The company were compelled to provide a number of additional passenger coaches to cope with the traffic. In spite of the heavy rise in expenditure, the increasing revenue in all departments enabled the dividend to be increased to 2% for 1915.
In 1916 the Duke of Devonshire resigned from the chairmanship on being appointed Civil Lord of the Admiralty. Lord Muncaster, who had become a director in 1890, took his place, but resigned a year later. He died at the end of March, 1917, and was succeeded by the Deputy Chairman, MR. F. J. RAMSDEN.
Goods and mineral traffic went up to 4,959,332 tons during 1916 and the dividend was 2 1/4% for the year. This figure was maintained until 1919.
The continued wagon shortage compelled the company to hire a large number of trucks from South Wales, and the locomotive position became even ore acute. Assistance was forthcoming from the L. & N. W.; North-Eastern, and Maryport & Carlisle Railways, and how this was employed is shown later in this chapter.
During 1916 the Furness Railway purchased £ 50,000 of War Loan as a contribution to the war effort. An all time record for the amount of mineral traffic handled by the company was set up during 1917, when the tonnage was 5,410,039 tons. In the same year the management of the Furness Abbey Hotel was taken over. The number of employees who had joined the services now totaled 420. A further 348 wagons were hired during the year, and 116 women were employed by the company.
We now turn to consider some of the special working arrangements which came into force during the War, especially where they concerned the workings of "foreign" locomotives over Furness metals.
It has already been noted that the Furness had running powers over the metals of the L.N.W.R. from Hindcaster Junction to Oxenholme, in order that their passenger trains from Arnside could reach Kendal. They had similar powers as far as Tebay on the main line to Penrith and Carlisle, so that they could work train loads of Durham blast-furnace coke, which were handed over to them by the N.E.R. at Tebay, through to the various plants on their system. These trains were worked to Tebay from the various coke-ovens in Durham via Darlington, Barnard Castle and Kirkby Stephen. Under special war-time arrangements, North-Eastern locomotives worked some of these trains right through to Lindal Ore Depot Sidings and Barrow. Certain goods trains off the L.N.E.R. at Carnforth were also worked as far as Barrow by North-Western locomotives. At the northern end of the system, the 7-5 p.m. up mail train was handled as far as Millom by a Maryport & Carlisle 0-4-2 tender engine, which returned from Millom to Whitehaven with the last down passenger turn of the day. Another innovation was the running through to Workington of the morning down fast goods from Barrrow to Whitehaven. This saved a good deal of exchange shunting at Corkickle Sidings, and cut out a L.N.W.R. turn from Workington to Corkickle and back.
Sunday goods workings were also introduced; a great novelty on the system. They consisted largely of Admiralty coal specials. These were destined for naval bases in Scotland and were worked round by the Furness and Maryport & Carlisle systems to relieve congestion on the main route over Shap. Not unnaturally they received the nickname of "Jellicoes." L.N.W. 0-6-0 "Cauliflowers" invariably worked these trains, which usually consisted of 50-odd wagons.
The huge increase in goods and mineral traffic made a number of improvements on the Furness essential, expecially as regards additional facilities for more speedy handling of the trains. On the sandhills near Eskmeals, MESSRS. VICKER'S gun-testing establishment was greatly extended during the war. In connection with it the firm had quite an extensive private railway and this was connected to the Furness line by a spur just south of Eskmeals. A halt platform, named "Monkmoors" was built beside the point where the spur line branched off and special workmen's trains were run to Monkmoors from Barrow and Millom.
On account of the greatly increased number of workings the block section between Bootle and Silecroft, which was over five miles long, was cut by putting in an intermediate signal box at Stangrah. The signal posts there were all of concrete, similar to those in use on the Great Northern Railway.
To alleviate congestion at the Corkickle end of the tunnel from there to Bransty Station, a new cross-over, from the double tracked "Joint Line" to the Furness single one, was put in about a mile south of Mirehouse Junction, just before the two tracks parted company. A new signal box was also erected (Corkickle No. 1.) After this the whole of the original Furness single track from Corkickle No. 1 to No. 3 box became a "permissive" goods road and all passenger trains used the "Joint Line" between Corkickle NO. 1 and No. 3. At Barrow many miles of new sidings were laid out to accommodate the many additional trains which had to be marshalled and dispatched. By the time the War was over, the Furness Railway was really feeling the strain. Fortunately, a number of new engines were delivered in 1918, for they were badly needed.
In April 1918, MR. ASLETT retired, at the age of 71. The War years had tried him severely. During his 23 year at Barrrow he had done great work for the company. His retirement was universally regretted, as he had been closely identified with the town and trade of Barrow, apart from his position as secretary and general manager of the railway. Shortly after his leaving, he was presented with his portrait in oils by the company.
In the same year the sum of £ 100,000 was spent on a new and larger dry dock at Barrow; this would accommodate the largest ships using the port.
During the first year after the War ended slightly under 3,000,000 tons of goods and minerals were dealt with and slightly over 5,000,000 passengers carried.
MR. D.L. Rutherford succeeded MR. W. F. PETTIGREW as Locomotive Superintendent in 1919, and in the same year the Company founded a University Scholarship, valued at £ 100 for three years. This was open to any employee with more than one year's service.
The trade boom which followed the end of the war kept the Furness fairly busy, but by 1921 things had slackened off and the cost of many renewals which had been held up since 1914 were having their effect on the financial returns. The dividend fell to 1% in 1921.
the Company started its own staff journal, "The Furness Railway Magazine," in 1920. Mainly as an economy measure that coaching stock was painted blue all over from 1920 onwards, instead of blue with while upper panels as it had been since the 1870's. Prior to then the livery had been varnished teak.
Before giving a final survey of the Company immediately before it was absorbed into the London, Midland & Scottish Railway, a summary of the train workings in their last form is interesting. The arrangements in force during the summer of 1922 will give a good example, as they remained fairly constant from 1919 to 1923.
Dealing first with the passenger trains which ran over the entire length of the main line, the day commenced (in the down direction) with the 4-40 a.m."down mail." this stopped for two minutes at Grange to drop mails only and reached Barrow at 5-36, having stopped at Ulverston and Dalton. After a ten minute stop at Barrow, the mail called at Foxfield Junction and reached Millom at 6-13 a.m. Leaving Millom at 6-18, it stopped for mails only at Bootle and Drigg and, omitting stops at Netherton and Braystones, reached Whitehaven (Bransty Station ) at 7-25 a.m. Admittedly, running was not impressive North of Barrow, but allowance must be made for a nine-minute stop at Sellafield to "cross" the 6-35 a.m. up train from Whitehaven, before entering the single track section from Sellafield to Corkickle No. 1 Signal Box. Speed throughout, excluding stops, was in the region of 35 m.p.h.
The next rain left Carnforth at 6-55 a.m. and omitting five stops, reached Whitehaven at 10 o'clock. another "slow," leaving at 9-53 a.m., got to the northern terminus of the line at 1-20 p.m. This train called at all stations. The 1-30 p.m. was an exactly similar effort and got to Bransty station at 4-55 p.m., through coaches which left Euston at 6-35 a.m. for Barrow and Whitehaven were attached. The last two departures from Carnforth for Whitehaven were at 4-20 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. the former was described as a "fast passenger," but although it only called at Grange, Ulverston and Barrow between Carnforth and Millom, it was an "all stations" run on from the latter and carried "slow lights" from there. through carriages from Euston (departing at 10-30 a.m.) were conveyed and Bransty was reached at 7-10 p.m.
The 7-10 p.m. was the fastest down run on the system. It made seven stops, plus four conditional ones (to drop passengers from south of Carnforth) and two additional stops on Saturday nights only. Rather oddly no extra running time was allowed on Saturdays. The through coaches leaving Euston at 1-30 p.m. were conveyed on this train which reached Whitehaven at 9-35 p.m. and averaged 37 m.p.h., excluding stops. Among the staff this was always know as the "boat train," a survival from the '80's.
In the up direction the day began with the 6-35 a.m. "slow" from Whitehaven. Two stops were omitted between St. Bees and Seascale, and then it was "all stations to Carnforth" The latter was reached at 9-55a.m. A through carriage to Euston on this working arrived there at 4-30 p.m. The 10-15 a.m. didn't miss a single station and got to Carnforth at 1-43 p.m.
At 11-35 a.m. the best up train of the day left Whitehaven for the South. Only five stops were made (St. Bees, Seascale, Millom, Barrow and Ulverston,) plus a conditional (for south of Carnforth passengers only) at Ravenglass. Through carriages to Euston (and to Leeds from Whitehaven in the summer, and from Barrow all the year round) were attached and eventually the rest of the train ran through to Preston. This "express" got to Carnforth at 1-53 p.m. and averaged nearly 38 m.p.h. the Euston coaches arrived in London at 7-30 p.m.
"Slow lights" were carried by the 1-50 p.m. from Bransty since it called at all stations to Millom. From there "fast lights" were substituted, as stops were only made at Foxfield, Barrow and Ulverston. This "semi-fast" arrived at Carnforth at 4-38 p.m. and the arrival time for the through coaches to Euston was 10-45 p.m. Five calls were missed out by the 3-5 p.m. and two minutes under three hours were required to complete its run.
At 5-30 p.m. "The Bond" left Whitehaven for Carnforth, calling at all stations. It picked up mails from the small stations, and acted as a link to the 7-0 p.m. down mail. this train earned its strange title on account of the fact that the guard was invariably a man of that name.
The last through up trip was the 7-0 p.m. mail. Compared with the 11-35 a.m. it made two additional stops (at Sellafield and Askam) and the booked time at Carnforth was 9-22 p.m. the average speed was a little below that of the morning "express."
A brief summary of the intermediate services will complete our picture of the passenger trains on the Furness main line.
Five trains left Carnforth daily of which all terminated at Barrow except one. the exception was the -25 p.m., which ran to Millom, arriving there at 6-35 p.m. The first of these intermediate runs (the 5-40 a.m. from Carnforth) consisted of an engine and van as far as Grange-over-Sands, to which mails only were conveyed. After a 20 minute stop at Grange to attach passenger coaches, this train proceeded normally to Barrow. The last run of the day was the 10-40 p.m. from Carnforth. This train brought the through carriages off the 4-50 p.m. from Euston and made two booked and four conditional stops (to set down from south of Carnforth only) between Carnforth and Barrow. Being the last passenger run on to the system from the other railways the 10-40 p.m. was always referred to as "the Whip."
In the up direction four additional runs were made from Barrow to Carnforth with an extra one on Saturdays only. This was an excursion to Manchester. None of these trains call for any special comment, except the 9-15 a.m., which had a through carriage to Euston, and only stopped at Ulverston and Grange-over-Sands.
Between Barrow and Ulverston about five local runs in each direction were provided and one or two of these were extended to Grange. There were also three additional trains each way between Barrow and Millom. One of these in each direction ran to and from the Barrow shipyard for the benefit of the many workmen employed there. From Millom to Whitehaven there was a daily "all stations" run at 7-45 a.m. and a "market special" from Barrow to Whitehaven at 9-45 a.m. on Thursdays only.
On Sundays the timetable was very simple. Two trains, calling at all stations, ran over the main line from end to end. Departures from Carnforth were 7-35 a.m. and 5-20 p.m. from Whitehaven at 10-10 a.m. and 5-43 p.m. Only the 10-10 a.m. started from Bransty station, the other departure and both arrivals were from and to Corkickle station only. This was done to enable the engineers to take charge of the Whitehaven tunnel, which was showing signs of "wear and tear." Nearly 25 years later the L.M. & S. company are still engaged on "preserving" its interior fabric.
The rest of the Sunday service consisted of a couple of trips each way between Barrow and Carnforth, one evening trip from Barrow to Millom only, and about half-a-dozen runs to and from Ulverston from Barrow. A number of the latter trains ran through to Lakeside during the summer months. There was also an afternoon through run from Barrow to Coniston on Sundays, from June to September.
It will be recalled that the Furness Railway had running powers over the L.& N.W. main line to Lancaster. They were also empowered to run direct into Morecambe by the single line spur from Hest Bank to Bare. After the War a certain number of through trains were run to and from Barrow to both Lancaster and Morecambe. In the summer months too, at least two through trains were run between Lancaster and Lakeside, Windermere. They ran direct on to the Lakeside branch via the Leven Curve, thus avoiding reversal at Ulverston. As these trains ran in connection with the Furness steamer service up to Bowness and Ambleside, they proved popular with day visitors to the Southern Lake District and the surrounding areas.
In the summer of 1922 these through runs to Lakeside started from Morecambe. The morning departure from the latter was at 9-40 a.m., reaching Windermere (Lakeside Pier) at 11-2 a.m. This connected with the 11-25 a.m. steamer to Ambleside. In the reverse direction the return trip left Lakeside at 6-30 p.m. (after the arrival of the steamer from Ambleside at 6-10 p.m.) Travellers were back in Morecambe at 8-5 p.m. Most of the through trains between Barrow and Lancaster ran on Sundays, but there was usually one weekday turn in each direction and one from Lancaster to Grange on Wednesdays only. The train services provided on the branch lines varied according to the time of year, but Coniston and Lakeside had between six and eight trips each way and the Kendal branch one or two less.
As will have been noticed the best trains on the main line could not be described as particularly speedy, especially when compared with the schedules in operation 25 years earlier. However it must be remembered that the Furness had hardly got over the effects of four years of war conditions. It was only in 1920 that MR. RUTHERFORD'S big "Baltic" tank appeared and no doubt some substantial improvements in the timings would have come into force had the Grouping not intervened in 1923.
Since goods and mineral traffic had invariably been the biggest item on the Furness Railway, and for many years the mainstay of the prosperity, we naturally find a preponderance of such workings on the line.
Before considering the time-table in force in 1922, when the traffic had fallen off considerably, let us take a look at the main flows of goods and minerals on the system.
To begin with there was normally a heavy tonnage of raw materials in one direction, and of finished and semi-finished products in both directions, between Carnforth and Ulverston (North Lonsdale Ironworks) and Carnforth and Barrow. To this must be added the coke traffic from Durham to Ulverston, Barrow and Millom, together with the local ore traffic from mines in the Lindal and Dalton areas to the blast furnaces at all those three places. At the northern end of the line, the Millom and Askam Iron Company not only drew their iron ore from the mines at Hodbarrow, but from pits in the Cleator district as well. Furthermore, there was a considerable pig iron tonnage from the Whitehaven Haematite Iron Company's plant at Cleator Moor which went south via the Furness Railway. There were also a number of iron and steel plants in the Workington area and quite a heavy tonnage from there to Midlands and South was routed via Whitehaven and Barrow. Finally there was the considerable goods and general merchandise traffic to and from the Barrow Docks. Bearing all this in mind the "layout" of the goods train working timetables will be more easily appreciated.
Starting once again from the Carnforth end, we find 11 goods trains booked to start from there each weekday in mid-1922. All except two were designated "fats." The exceptions were the roadside turns to Lindal and the Kendal branch.
The destinations of the fast runs were: Barrow 6 Whitehaven 1 Ulverston 2
The Whitehaven turn was given to title of "express goods" and on its down run was limited to merchandise traffic only. running via the original main line from Dalton Junction to Park South (thus avoiding Barrow,) it reached Corkickle Sidings from Carnforth in three hours dead. Only one stop, of five minutes for water at Millom, was made.
It will be noticed that there were no special trips for Millom laid on from Carnforth. This was because the usual practice was to convey Millom traffic on Barrow trains as far as Lindal Ore Depot Sidings. Here it was dropped off and worked on to Millom via the Barrow avoiding line by one of the intermediate workings.
In the up direction, goods arrivals at Carnforth numbered 12. They were originated on the system as follows:
Barrow 5 Ulverston 4 Whitehaven 1 Millom 1 Kendal Branch 1
An unusual feature of the up time table was that no goods or mineral train arrived at Carnforth from the north before 1-0 p.m.
The up working from Whitehaven (Corkickle Sidings) was again designated "express," but his time a fair amount of mineral traffic was included in its load (especially coke for the Millom furnaces from the Allerdale coke ovens, near Workington.) Millom was once again its only stop, but for 35 minutes to attach and detach traffic, and to let the 11-35 a.m. express passenger get in front.
Mention has already been made of the coke traffic from Durham to the Furness area. This was picked up from the North-Eastern Railway at Tebay and, since the Furness Railway had working powers to that point, the loads of coke were worked from there jointly by Furness and L.& N.W.R. engines and men. To deal with the tonnage coming along in 1922, six trips in each direction were laid on. One of these was "conditional." Three were worked by each company. those handled by the North-Western terminated at Lindal Ore Depot, and those by the Furness ran to Barrow. Engines most generally used were Class G.1 0-8-0's by the L.& N.W. and MR. PETTIGREW'S latest 0-6-0's by the Furness.
On the Barrow-Whitehaven section, in addition to the through turn from Carnforth already described, there were two other fast goods trips to and from Barrow. From Whitehaven to Millom there was a "road-side" goods and an "engine and van" run to Sellafield. Here and iron ore load was picked up off the Joint Line and worked on to Millom. In the down direction there were two fast and a road-side turn from Millom to Whitehaven.
By the 1920's the mineral traffic off the Joint Line had fallen off so severely that tone through train from Egremont to Millom and back and another from Barrow to Sellafield and back sufficed to deal with the loadings available. The remaining intermediate workings consisted mainly of several trips between Millom and Ulverston (North Lonsdale Ironworks): Barrow and North Lonsdale and Park Mineral Sidings and the same place.
The passenger and goods services on the Joint Lines are dealt with in Chapter XIII.
The severe gradients up to Lindal Sidings from both north and south put very severe restrictions on unassisted train loads. Going north the rising gradient starts near Plumpton Junction and steepens from 1 in 186 for six chains to 1 in 94; 1 in 76 and further lengths varying from 1 in 79 to 1 in 107. the full climb is nearly four miles long and there are two curves on 25 chains radius after nearly three miles of collar work. coming south there is a steady climb from Askam with a maximum gradient of 1 in 94, followed by a "dip" through Park Sidings. From Park South (or as it should be more correctly called, Thwaite Flat Junction), those trains routed by the original main line are faced with a stiff climb, maximum gradient 1 in 73, to Dalton Junction. From there to Lindal there are stretches of 1 in 97 and 1 in 103 and on these portions there are four curves, of which one is 24 chains, one 26, and two of 25 chains radius. For trains starting from Barrow, the climb is continuous from Roose, with a maximum of 1 in 63, just before Dalton Junction. There are three curves of 25 chains on this section. The unassisted loads were calculated on a wagon basis. For example, a "Sharpie" could only tackle 14 loaded iron ore wagons and a brake van on its own from Plumpton Junction to Lindal Sidings. It could take 17 wagons of coke, coal, pig iron or limestone, and 24 of merchandise. These loadings also applied to passenger and small tank engines. With MR. PETTIGREW'S larger 0-6-0 tender and 0-6-2 tank locomotives, the number of wagons was stepped up to 23, 26 and 38 respectively. Restrictions between Barrow and Lindal and Askam and Lindal (via the direct line) were the same. It will be seen, therefore, that banking was needed for practically every goods train up both sides of the climb to Lindal.
For north-bound trains the banking engine was attached at Plumpton Junction. Depending on the load, assistance was given to south-bound runs, via the direct line, either from Askam or Park South. The unassisted loads between the two last-named points was roughly double those which applied beyond Park Sidings. From Barrow, the "pusher" was put on at Roose. It was laid down that the maximum number of wagons on any train on the system was 60 (including brake van.)
As stated in the chapter dealing with the Furness locomotives, the latter were invariably kept in a spotless condition. On the system as a whole there was a friendly atmosphere, and the staff were encouraged to make suggestions for improving the working of the trains. Each goods guard had his own brake van, with his own name and depot painted in white on a small panel on the doors. The station buildings, which were of a substantial and quite attractive character, were painted in a colour scheme of red and cream.
The earliest type of signals used on the Furness double track lines had slotted wooden posts with the arm pivoted in the centre. The normal position of the arm was horizontal, with a red light showing at night. For "all right" the arm was lowered to an angle of 70 degrees, and a white light exposed. Distant signals had the usual "fish-tail" ends and were painted red and white as the stop variety. They showed a red light for caution and were fitted with an acetylene lamp which gave a white flashing light in the "off" position. Originally they were not locked with the home signals, this being done at a later date.
On single lines a modified form of the disc and cross-bar signal, as used on the G.W.R., was employed. This consisted of a wooden disc 18 inches in diameter with a red face, fitted to a post 10 feet high. When the red face was exposed to the driver it indicated "stop." For "all right" the disc was turned through an angle of 90 degrees so that only the edge could be seen by the engine driver. These signals were erected at all crossing loops ( one at each end) and were operated from the foot of the post.
The first telephones were not installed in signal boxes, but in the station offices. They were of the phonophore type and the circuits were super-imposed on the block wire.
The signals finally were mainly of two types. The older ones had latticed girder posts and the signal lamp and spectacles were mounted much lower down than the arm itself, which was still pivoted in the centre of the post. The later design was more akin to the North-Western pattern. One unique feature was the method of raising and lowering the signal lamps when they required a fresh filling of lamp oil. A chain ran from a little hand winch fitted on the side of the post; over a pulley wheel let into the top of the signal, and was then attached to the lamp itself. The latter was clipped on to a sliding bar which ran the full length of one side of the post. This arrangement obviated the fitting of a ladder. Only in the latest signals erected by the Furness was the ladder substituted for this winch arrangement.
On all the single lines Tyer's electric tablet instruments were employed. On the main line, one wire two position-block instruments were employed. On the main line, one wire two position-block instruments were first used. Later they were replaced by the three-position type.
The main line, owing to the curvature of the coast line, was handicapped (as it still is) by a number of very sharp curves. Some of these have already been mentioned. The most severe one is a Par South (Thwaite Flat Junction) where the present main line via Barrow turns off the Dalton direct track. The curve here has a radius of only 11 chains and there is a very severe speed restriction. There is also one of 14 chains after leaving Barrow for the south, just beyond St. Lukes Junction. Since the Furness Railway mainly followed the coast-line, the track nowhere reaches any great altitude. The highest point is on the Coniston Branch at Torver (345 feet above sea-level).
Now we come to the fateful year 1922. The Report of the Directors and Statement of Accounts for the year ending December 31st, 1922, was issued on February 3rd, 1923, and was stated to be for submission to:
"The 147th (being the Tenth Annual and Final) Ordinary General Meeting of the Company to be held at the Furness Abbey Hotel, on Tuesday, the 20th February, 1923, at 1-30 p.m."
The heading of the Report continued:
"Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of the North-Western, Midland and West Scottish Group Amalgamation Scheme, 1922, an Annual General Meeting will be held ...for the transaction of the business for which such Meeting is by the Scheme required to be held, including the payment out of the assets of the Company of such compensation as may be determined to the Directors of the Company who suffer loss by abolition of office."
The following comprised the final Board of Directors:
Frederic J. RAMSDEN (Chairman), Myles KENNEDY (Deputy Chairman), Col. The Rt. Hon. Lord Richard CAVENDISH, His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, LT. Col. J. Arthur JACKSON, Sir John RANDLES, G. Muir RITCHIE.
During 1922 the gross receipts from all sources (Railway, steamboats, docks, etc. ) was £ 973,465 and expenditure £ 839,280. After the addition of £ 273,694 from the Railways Compensation Account (under the 1921 Railways Act) and £ 8,523 from rents, etc., there remained a net income of £ 273,694.
After paying interests, rentals and other fixed charges, the dividends on the Guaranteed and Preference Stock and the sum of £9,000 to the Contingency Fund, the balance available for the Ordinary Dividend was £ 52,840. An interim payment of 1/2% had been made in August, and a Final dividend of 1 1/2% was proposed, making 2% for the last year of the Company's existence.
During 1922 the goods and mineral traffic carried totalled 3,103,477 tons. this was of course much below the figures which had obtained during the War years, but was 600,000 tons better than 1921. Goods and mineral receipts were £563,010.
Just over 3 1/2 million passengers were carried during the same period. This number also showed an improvement on the year before, to the tune of about 75,000. The receipts totalled £ 183,704. There were about 1,500 season ticket holders using the Furness Railway, of which 90% were 3rd class.
The mileage of lines owned in 1922 (reduced to single track and sidings) was 329 miles and 42 chains. Jointly owned lines added another 54 miles and 60 chains. Finally the little Cleator and Workington contributed another 46 miles and 6 chains under the heading of Lines worked by the company. All this gave a grand total of 430 miles and 29 chains. If sidings be ignored, the final figures, reduced to a single track only, were 193 miles 22 chains (owned) ; 35 miles 47 chains ( jointly owned) ; and 31 miles 57 chains (worked) ; total: 260 miles 46 chains.
In view of the vast amount of money the Furness Railway sunk in the development of the port of Barrow, the final figures of receipts and expenditure on the Docks are of interest. In 1922 total revenue was £112,286 and expenditure £110,575. Just over £1,700 was made. The steamboats made double that amount of profit in the same period. All accrued from the services on Windermere and Coniston Lakes. After the War, it was decided not to renew the Barrow-Fleetwood summer service, as it was felt that under the changed conditions it would not pay. Two of the boats used on this service had been requisitioned by the Admiralty on the outbreak of the War, but returned safely after 1918. They were broken up later.
The number of locomotives owned by the Furness Railway, and the mileage run by the engines in the last year of independence, is given in Chapter XII.
Final coaching figures gave the company 269 passenger carriages; 24 luggage and parcels vans, 27 horse boxes; 12 carriage trucks and 2 postal sorting vans. The chief items among the 7,365 goods and mineral stock, were 4,291 open goods wagons (the majority being between 8 and 12 tons) ; 1,880 iron ore wagons; 289 goods vans; 701 rail and timber trucks; 115 cattle trucks; and 87 goods brake vans. A variety of service vehicles totalled 374.
It was the proud boast of the Furness Railway Company that no serious accident occurred on the system during its existence (other than the one on Leven Viaduct in 1903) and no Furness engine was ever involved in a collision with another.
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