Hatchley’s heyday came and went with the railroad that went through the village. The first train went through Hatchley in 1876 and a number of buildings were erected around the train station which quickly became the centre of Hatchley. The “Hatchley Place” sign that was on Jarvis Yates’ property was moved to the train station. Along with shipping cargo such as lumber, livestock, and apples the train provided local young people with the opportunity to attend high school in Brantford. A total of four passenger trains and one freight train ran through Hatchley on a daily basis at its peak. Businesses in Hatchley included a store and post office, apple drying factory, fur warehouse, and lumber mill. In 1883 a brick building was erected to the west of Hatchley that served as a school, church and community hall.
As the railroad was overtaken by cars as the preferred mode of transportation the population of Hatchley dwindled. The school closed in 1961 and a private residence was built in its place. A number of fires also played a role in the village’s decline including John Yates warehouse and the homes of William and Charles Yates burning down. Lightning was often the cause of the fires.