North Union Railway

North Union Railway

North Union Railway

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The North Union Railway was an early British railway company, formed in 1834.


The North Union Railway resulted from the first railway amalgamation in British history. The two companies were the Wigan Branch Railway and the Wigan and Preston Junction Railway. The former was a branch line from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Parkside, serving local coal mines (particularly by a branch to New Springs) and the town of Wigan. The latter was originally promoted as a separate company, to connect Wigan with Preston, now the county town. The new company was formed on 22 May 1834.

The line was fully opened on 31 October 1838, and ran from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Parkside, near Warrington, northwards to Preston, via Wigan. It later absorbed the Bolton and Preston Railway, whose line made a junction with it at Euxton, on 10 May 1844. It was leased to the Grand Junction Railway, in association with the Manchester and Leeds Railway, on 27 July 1846.

Joint ownership

The North Union eventually (on 26 July 1889) came into the joint ownership of the successors to those earlier companies: respectively, the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR). Early rationalisation of the joint venture saw that part of the...
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