Adam Baker capitalised on a defensive error in the 14th minute to score the only goal of what was a largely poor game at Giant Axe.
The Dolly Blues pressed for a leveller in the second half, Ryan Winder and Reece Pearce both coming close, but City huffed and puffed without reward.
City’s leading scorer Aaron Taylor headed in to the side netting in the opening minute as the hosts made a bright start.
But it was the visitors, searching for a sixth win a row, who went ahead shortly before the quarter hour.
Ben Hudson was robbed of possession as City tried to play out from the back with Baker making no mistake as he fired low past Mike Hale when in one-on-one.
Darren Peacock’s side were struggling to retain possession and had Hale to thank for not going two goals behind on 18 minutes, the stopper saving well low to his right to deny Lawrence Hunter.
Baker then wasted a chance for his second shortly before the half hour, a heavy touch allowing Hale to rush out and block.
City came into the game as they half went on but only had Winder’s low shot from 20 yards to show for their efforts.
Pearce’s introduction at half-time almost brought an instant reward for City but Tom Goodwin saved well with his legs after the winger’s driving run down the right.
The Rail then wasted another chance to double their lead three minutes into the second half, Malachi Farquharson heading over from point blank range.
The visitors’ 24-goal striker Nathan Cartman was an increasing threat on the break as he came close twice either side of a Pearce effort that went narrowly over after a neat move.
Winder was beginning to pull the strings for City as his fine through ball found Taylor on 56 minutes only for Goodwin to rush out and deny the former Morecambe man.
After Cartman had bent a free-kick narrowly wide it was Winder who thundered a shot from 25 yards off the bar 10 minutes from time.
The midfielder saw a second effort from distance go narrowly over before Goodwin made sure of a point with a fine save low to his left to deny Pearce with time almost up.
Lancaster City: Hale, Hudson, Clark, Davis, Marshall (capt), Hunter, Winder, Akrigg, Woods (Wearing 58), Taylor, Bailey (Pearce 46). Subs not used: Henry, Birch, Donlon.
Harrogate Railway: Goodwin, Coates, Hunter, Heath, Thirkell, Mycoe (capt), Youhill (Bromley 82), Ibrahimi, Cartman, Farquharson, Baker. Subs not used: Kidd, Ashforth.
Referee: Natalie Walker.