Non-conformism flourished in Pickering during the 19th century and meeting houses and chapels were enlarged. There were both Wesleyan and Anglican schools in the town from the middle of the century.
The Whitby and Pickering Railway was opened in May 1836. At first the carriages and wagons were horse drawn but steam locomotives were used from 1847. The Forge Valley Line ran from 1882 to 1950, connecting Pickering to the Whitby–Scarborough line. The local Health Board (the forerunner of the Urban District Council) was formed in 1863. A Gas and Water Company provided gaslight and piped drinking water. The shop fronts were closed in and glass windows were used to display goods for sale.