The End of an Era
By the 1960s, the Interstate Highway system (along with an excellent state road system and an incredibly high rate of personal automobile ownership) helped to bring about a steep decline in the importance of the railroads to the local economy and culture. Automotive transportation surpassed trains in efficiency, and coupled with industries leaving, it was time for Wooster to say goodbye to its rail lines. By 1971, the railroad decommissioned the Pennsylvania Passenger Depot. Six years later, A 31-car derailment would annihilate the building, reducing the old depot to rubble.1
Wooster’s Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Freight Station still exists in the form of Stull’s Hair Clinic, located off of the junction between Columbus Avenue and Vanover Street.
Freight continues on through the city, the only signal of its presence a blaring horn heard for miles around late in the nights. The tracks that once ferried people and freight alike in and out of the bustling trade center are still in use today. Passengers no longer arrive or depart at Wooster--cargo is all that now moves through the tracks.
1 Historical Landmarks of Wooster City (Killbuck Township). Wayne County Historical Society. Accessed at http://waynehistoricalohio.org/research/wa-co-historical-landmark-list/#woostercity.