Simcoe County, by virtue of its strategic location in providing access to the Great Lakes, was destined for early participation in the railway construction boom that occurred in the 1850s, a year after the Province of Canada passed the Railway Guarantee Act that guaranteed the loan interest on the construction of railways not less than 75 miles in length.
From 1853 to 1888 - The Years of Development
A portage railway had been coffee house talk when Toronto was still York. The early trails to Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay had defined logical lines of communication; and the availability of wheat and firewood were domestic necessities. So it was that the city fathers, aided by the innovative and energetic Frederick Chase Capreol, brought about, amid flamboyance and some scandal, the first steam railway in Upper Canada.
Incorporated in 1849 as the Toronto, Simcoe & Lake Huron Union Railroad Company, it became the Ontario, Simcoe & Huron Union Railroad in 1852. Its first train reached Machell's Corners (now Aurora) on May 16, 1853, Bradford and Allandale later in 1853, with a spur to Belle Ewart in 1854, and it entered Collingwood in June 1855.