24WOO! WOO! ALL ABOARD!

Before the 1850ís, the Western District was extremely difficult to travel to or through. Few roads existed; the Egremont and the Talbot Roads were basic routes from London to Sarnia or London to Windsor, but they were badly maintained and difficult to travel. The most efficient way to travel in the spring and summer was by the Sydenham River and the Thames. In the winter, settlers used sleds. This lack of transportation made trade difficult, and the area was slow to develop compared to central Ontario.

These old stones are the supports for a Grand Truck Railway trestle bridge that once existed outside of Alvinston.
These old stones are the supports for a Grand Truck Railway trestle bridge that once existed outside of Alvinston.
Railway developers recognised the profit to be made by connecting the Western District by rail. In 1856, Strathroy, along with Komoka, Glencoe, Bothwell and Thamesville, was connected to the main line of the Great Western Railway. A second section came later connecting London with Sarnia, included Wyoming, Watford and Petrolia.

The railway initially brought great prosperity to Strathroy and surrounding communities. The line was eventually connected to Michigan at Windsor, providing the farmers of Strathroy with an extra market for their produce. The village’s population tripled in three years.

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