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Barrow-in-Furness is an industrial town and seaport in Cumbria, at the tip of the Furness peninsula.
Until 1974 Barrow was an exclave of the county of Lancashire, separated by Morecambe Bay. Historically that came about because stagecoaches going north couldn't climb the Lakeland hills, so they crossed the sands of the bay and wound around via Ulverston to Furness then on up the Cumbria coast. Then in the 19th century iron ore was discovered in the area. This led to mining, steel-making and shipbuilding industries, the railway was built, and Barrow became forged economically to the metal-bashing cities of Lancashire. It was an important base for navy ship-building, especially submarines. Those shipyards are still there, but much of the other industry has departed.
Joined to the town by a causeway is Walney Island (Barrow itself was an island until Norse times, then the channel filled up.) When the Rev W Awdry needed a railway network for Thomas the Tank Engine to chuff around, he thought of Walney Island and expanded it into the fictional "Sodor".

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