The Railways

 Co-partners in the success of the woollen-textile mills were the railways.  A Galashiels rail link to Edinburgh was established in 1849 and later a second line via Peebles to the Scottish capital opened in 1866; local railway staff in 1851 numbered 28 (all males) but thirty years later had increased to 64 (63m, 1f telegraphist).  Without doubt the woollen-textile industry and the railway system were mutually beneficial in their evolutionary years.  The railways instantly reduced the price of coal and the cost of bringing raw wool into the town, but it was their valuable rail network that enabled Galashiels tweeds and worsteds to speedily reach their national and world-wide markets, the annual value of their woollen goods rising from around £1000 in 1790 to nearly £1.25 million by 1890.(10)

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