Lancaster & Preston Junction Railway and North Union Railway boundary stone

circa 1840 in Lancashire
North Union Railway

Boundary marker, stone, from Preston station, Lancaster & Preston Junction Railway and North Union Railway, about 1840.

Boundary markers like this were used to clearly identify the limits of railway land and to distinguish them from adjacent property. This one delineates land owned by two railway companies which both operated lines that served Preston in Lancashire.

The North Union Railway was created by an Act of Parliament in 1834, which amalgamated the Preston & Wigan Railway with the Wigan Branch Railway. It first linked the Wigan coalfields with the Liverpool & Manchester Railway and then took over the line between Preston and Bolton. The North Union’s lines were leased by other railway companies and it operated independently until 1889, when it was taken over by the London & North Western and Lancashire & Yorkshire Railways.

The Lancaster & Preston Junction Railway was formed in 1837 in competition with the North Union Railway, and built a 20-mile (32km) line from Preston to Lancaster, which opened in June 1840. The two railways had numerous disagreements over building costs, the quality of construction and access to Preston’s railway stations.

Each new line that served Preston was built by a different company and it was not until 1900 that all of these railways used the same station.

The Lancaster & Preston Junction Railway was poorly managed and its directors were severely criticised by the government Board of Trade. Following an accident in 1848 the railway was taken over by the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway. The line between Preston and Carlisle now forms part of the West Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.

This boundary marker is a square of dressed stone with a dividing line down the centre. On either side are the two company’s initials, “N U R” and “L & P”. A corner has been damaged.


Railway Infrastructure
Object Number:
boundary marker
British Rail, Clapham