Controversy often swirls around railways, and in 1883 it was over the route of the anticipated Scottsdale line.
The government surveyor recommended going via Mt Direction and Bangor. It was the easiest grade and could even run along the Bangor slate mine tramway, saving lots of money.
People at Turners Marsh and Lilydale were outraged. They were the population centres! They demanded that the line go via Fingerpost Hill. Trouble was, there was no obvious route.
Eventually local resident Alfred Box and the government engineer found a way up the Fingerpost, and in 1885 tenders were called. Then came arguments over stations. Eventually they settled on Mowbray, Rocher's Lane, Upper Turner's Marsh, Karoola, Lilydale, Tunnel, Lebrina, Golconda, Lisle Road and Lietinna.
Winning the construction tender were Irish immigrants Martin Boland and Robert Steele Scott - the first time local contractors had won a rail contract. It was their big breakthrough, and worth £228,000.
For Boland, who arrived in 1840 and had largely worked on roads until then, it was a big risk. He and Scott had to put down an enormous security deposit of £5000. But it was also the chance to make his name and his fortune.
The line brought enormous changes from the start. Robert Smilie at the Junction Hotel immediately added rooms to accommodate rail workers. As the project got underway, 1200 men were employed.
Nearly 20,000ha of Crown land at Scottsdale became saleable. The reduced freight costs meant felled trees could be sold rather than burnt, and fields of potatoes, oats, peas and barley could be planted.
It was a huge construction effort, with the reputedly largest concrete arch bridge in Australia spanning the Denison River, and a magnificent 700m-long tunnel.
The line opened on August 9, 1889, reducing the travel time to Scottsdale from an arduous three-day trek to just three hours and 15 minutes in comfort.
People immediately stopped using the Patersonia road and while three hotels there and another at Myrtle Bank closed, in contrast, Lilydale and Karoola boomed.
In 1911 the line was extended to Branxholm. Then to Herrick in 1919.
However, the rise of the car was already giving relentless competition. New petrol-engine trains were trialled in 1923 and put into service in 1926. The travel time to Scottsdale came down to two hours 45 minutes - but cars were by already doing it in two hours. Governments refused to put money into both roads and rail line upgrades.
Passenger services ended in 1978 and freight services finished in 2004.