Tasmania's long and proud railway history had never been properly documented until authors Lou Rae and Tony Coen decided to make it into a page-turner.
The duo have just released their new book, 150 Years of Railways in Tasmania, which is a comprehensive work on the subject featuring 268 pages of research and interviews as well as 501 pictures.
While railways are common place nowadays, that belies their past as a central reason behind the placement of key local businesses and modes of transport.
"There a lots of industries set up because the railway was there and it bought a lot of business to Tasmania.
"Railways probably gave Tasmania the boost it needed [in the 1800's] and it survived, it could build industry, Cadburys was built around the railways, the zinc works was built around the railways ... the railways have a long history."
The pair of authors have known each other for 40 years and decided to utilise Mr Rae's experience as a historian and Mr Coen's history as a railway driver to compile the authoritative work.
"We had different interests in the railways which came together well, I'd known Tony for about 40 years and we decided to do it," Mr Rae said.
"It has come together, we had a few tough minutes where we didn't know where it was going but we've come to a conclusion and it has worked out well."
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Mr Rae said that the many railways had interesting ties to political decisions which would intrigue readers.
"Some railways made money but governments fell because of railways, Joseph Lyons [former Australian prime minister] became state premier purely because of the railways and sacking the commissioner," Mr Rae said.
"[Railways] were always political, some made a lot of money, Mount Lyell made a lot of money, some private lines did well, some government lines did well, overall, they struggled because they were created for political reasons and not business sense."
The book was made entirely in Tasmania and was printed at Launceston print firm Foot and Playsted.
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