As well as offering improved means of transporting agricultural produce, and opening up new markets, the coming of the railway offered additional benefits to farmers in the area.
The soil in the area around Marden is mainly stiff clay, and there is much discussion in the volumes of evidence as to the benefits that could be gained by incorporating large quantities of chalk and other soil improvers.
Evidence given to House of Commons committee on improvement of land
Before the arrival of the railway local farmers found it very difficult to obtain chalk and other soil improvers, as discussed in the evidence:
Evidence given to House of Commons committee on soil improvers
As well as soil improvers our groups found evidence of the railway being used to bring in other useful materials. Joseph Carpenter’s accounts show him paying for rail carriage for turnip seeds and baskets, amongst other things. Other substances such as seaweed, which could be brought from the east coast by the railway, and woollen rags, which were imported from London, were also brought into the area more cheaply and easily by rail.