4419 - Exploring the Lake DistrictWith the Furness Railway Tours
Author: David Mather
Imprint: Silver Link Books
Published: October 24, 2015
At the end of the 19th century the Furness Railway's local and traditional freight traffic was in decline; if the railway was to have a future, it would depend on its passenger train services and steamer routes. But the company possessed one more vital asset in its struggle for survival on its doorstep was the unexploited splendour of the English Lake District. At the turn of the century the Furness company new pioneering and innovative Secretary and General Manager, Alfred Aslett, wasted no time in exploiting the hitherto untapped potential for tourism. Soon 20 rail, coach and steamer tours were in operation in an area crying out for an integrated travel network to allow the well-off Victorian visitor to experience the stunning landscape. To promote this venture, the railway commissioned a series of colourful postcards, many of which are reproduced in these pages. Based on the 1905 programme of tours, this fully illustrated book allows the reader to retrace all of them as closely as possible. Today some can still be followed by bus, lake and rail including the steam-operated Lakeside & Haverthwaite heritage line allowing the visitor to abandon the car and enjoy the superb scenery in comfort with someone else at the wheel! Sadly, with the closure of some railway branch lines and bus routes, other tours have to be undertaken by car. Whether using public transport or car, full directions and suggested timetables are given for each tour to enable today's Lake District visitor to do a bit of 'time travel' and experience the many breathtaking sights that were seen possibly for the first time by the enterprising Victorian traveller more than a century ago.