The railways brought many changes to Stroud - some of them more predictable than others. Having the considerable advantage of speed over horse-drawn transport and often being cheaper, the railways drove the stage-coaches and fly-wagons out of business. Horse-drawn transport survived for local journeys.
Although the Stroudwater Canal survived into the 20th century, the Thames & Severn was taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1882, to prevent the Midland Railway buying it and using the route.
The railway opened up new possibilities for the people of Stroud. In 1891, Bedford Street Chapel Choir had a day's outing to Stratford upon Avon - an undertaking that would have been unthinkable half a century earlier.