Towns and cities close to railways (particularly places where engines and carriages were built or repaired) grew in size such as:
At one time, Glasgow built 25% of the world's steam locomotives.
Coal could be transported across the country, quickly and cheaply to be used as either:
The coal, iron and steel industries received a tremendous boost from the railway building
mania, and contributed to coal mining becoming one of Scotland's largest employers.
Factories were built close to railways as they could be used to transport raw materials and finished goods.
More than 100,000 people were employed by railway companies, by 1860.
Farms and fishing ports could send fresh food almost anywhere in the country, cheaply.
Improved transport led to the development of company brands that were known nationally e.g:
Railways encouraged the development of a quicker and more reliable postal service, improving private and business communications. People living in large cities had access to a communications system as cheap, convenient and almost as quick as email (with three mail deliveries a day). In emergencies, telegrams could be sent, using telegraph wires built alongside the railway lines.