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An important labour market development towards the end of the nineteenth century was the rise of the internal labour market. Railway companies were pioneers in this area, and this article presents an analysis of the career histories of 848 traffic staff workers of the Great Eastern Railway Company. This large longitudinal sample provides the first detailed account of the internal labour dynamics of a pre-1914 railway company, providing a unique insight into an early internal labour market. It shows that there was a clearly structured market for unskilled entrants, that promotion and demotion were an important managerial tool, and that there was a significant wage premium for promotion.