The first railroad to pass through Newark, Ohio was the Sandusky, Mansfield and Newark Railroad. It was built in 1852 and was quickly followed by the Central Ohio Railroad between Columbus and Newark in 1854. Once these railroads were in use, the Erie and Ohio Canal only carried products that did not need quick transportation.
The Sandusky, Mansfield and Newark Railroad was absorbed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) in 1869 as was the Central Ohio. As the predominant railroad in the county, the Central Ohio was built to ship coal mined in the SE part of Ohio into Newark to fuel its industrial growth.