The Great Western Railway line ran alongside the Thames & Severn canal from Chalford into Stroud, with trains stopping at the station off Russell Street. However, the GWR was not the only railway company to serve Stroud. In 1867, a branch line financed by a company of local businessmen opened between Nailsworth, Dudbridge and the main Midland Railway (Gloucester - Bristol line) near Stonehouse.
In 1885, the operation of the Nailsworth Branch was taken over by the Midland Railway, who opened a spur served by a shuttle train from Dudbridge to Stroud, terminating at the Cheapside Station. This arrangement meant that passengers leaving Stroud on the Midland Railway had to change almost immediately at Dudbridge!