In India first railway was built between Mumbai and Thane in 1852 and the first passenger train ran between the two stations, covering a distance of 34 km, on April 16, 1853.

Railway arrived at Vadnagar by 1907 as per the records maintained by Sh. Jethabhai Marfatia.

It connected the small city with the rest of India and thereby opened up business opportunities.
Produce of Vadnagar and the surrounding region could be exported to faraway places. Similarly, goods from other production centres in the country could be easily brought to the city.

Soon its trade thrived and the city became an important market for various agricultural and industrial commodities. It became the largest center of jaggery (gur) trade in Gujarat. So much so, that its merchants supplied jaggery to Ahmedabad too. K-G brand of jaggery of the firm Kishan Gordhan had a very high reputation for its quality throughout the region. Also, the city became an important centre of timber business. Its businessmen brought timber logs from Burma (now Myanmar), Malabar, Assam, and Nepal. They got these sawed in their saw mills, and sold the sized timber throughout the North Gujarat. Nine out of every ten houses in the city and the surrounding villages were built with the timber supplied by the timber depot of Vitthaldas Purushottamdas during the times.

Its merchants did roaring business in agricultural produce like pulses, cumin (jeera), oilseeds, etc. Almost round the year, wagon loads of these products were sent from the railway godown. There came up two oil mills for crushing the oil seeds and extracting oil - Mangaldas Modi Oil Mill and Mahendra Oil Mill. Both ran overtime during the crushing season.

Also, it became an important centre of dyeing and printing coarse and fine textiles. Bhavsar and Chhipa communities, which were engaged in this activity, had a high reputation for their skill in the whole of Gujarat. Merchants in the Cloth Market (Kapad Bazar) of Vadnagar had been doing brisk wholesale and retail business of the printed cloth.

Old documents and photographs courtesy: Amrut Patel