During 1825 Booth was a vigorous proponent of the pioneering Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company (L&M). At the first general meeting of the railway's shareholders on 29 May 1826, he was appointed to be one of the L&M's twelve initial directors. Next day the directors appointed him as company secretary and treasurer—equivalent to the post of chief executive officer—at a salary of £500 a year. He continued to competently fill those important posts until 1846. Booth was a leading proponent of working all British railways to one standard time.
On the formation of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) on 16 July 1846, he became a director of the new large company, serving until 1859. He was also the LNWR's first secretary between 1846 and 1848.