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Sanctioned in 1831, but the Preston line did not make such good progress. The delay was greatly to the annoyance of the Wigan Junction people who had the backing of the leading people of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The upshot was the formation of the North Union 4 Will. IV., c·. 25, 1831 to take over the Wigan Branch and the Preston and Wigan.
The latter line was then completed and opened on October 31st, 1838. Part of the Preston line was carried on the fine viaduct over the river Ribble at Preston . This structure consists of millstone grit - it still stands but has been widened on the west side (1924) - with five arches of 120ft. span, rising 33ft, on piers 20ft thick. Rail level was 44ft. above the water.