Railway boundary marker

circa 1880 in unknown place
North Eastern Railway

Railway boundary marker, North Eastern Railway, cast iron, tapered pillar surmounted by a spherical cap with cast lettering 'NER', about 1880.

Boundary marker, North Eastern Railway, about 1880.

Boundary markers like this were used to clearly identify the limits of railway land and to distinguish them from adjacent property. They were typically used where it was difficult to install a fence or hedge, where there was a risk of encroachment by other landowners, or where there had been a dispute over land ownership. They also delineated one railway company’s territory from another’s, for instance to make it clear who was responsible for maintaining a particular stretch of line.

The North Eastern Railway was formed in 1854, when several railway companies amalgamated. As its name suggests, the NER served north-eastern England. Its core territory was in Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumberland, with lines west to Cumberland and Westmoreland and north to Scotland. In 1923 it was combined with other companies to form the London & North Eastern Railway.

The boundary marker is a practical design in cast iron, probably made in a foundry at one of the company’s works in either York, Darlington or Gateshead. It is a tapering cylindrical pillar, with a ball at the top incorporating the company initials, NER. It has a long base that was buried deep in the ground, to discourage any disgruntled landowners from surreptitiously digging it up and moving it.


Railway Infrastructure
Object Number:
overall: 160 x 18 cm
boundary marker
Bore, S.