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Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway (1990)

Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway
Locomotive #200 at Monroeville, Ohio, July 8, 2006
Reporting mark WE
Locale Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
Dates of operation 1990–
Predecessor Norfolk and Western Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length Owned: 575 miles (925 km)
Rights: 265 miles (426 km)
Website .com.wlerwywww

The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway (reporting mark WE) is a Class II regional railroad that provides freight service, mainly in the U.S. state of Ohio. It took its name from the former Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway, most of which it bought from the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1990.


  • History 1
  • System 2
  • References 3
    • General references 3.1
  • External links 4


In 1990, the limestone quarries in the Bellevue, Ohio area and with CSX Transportation from Connellsville, Pennsylvania to Hagerstown, Maryland, a remnant of the old Alphabet Route of which the original W&LE was a part. W&LE also maintains trackage rights from Wellington to Cleveland on CSX.

The only portions of the original W&LE operated by companies other than the current W&LE are the NS line west of Bellevue (W&LE now has trackage rights to Toledo on this line, obtained after the Conrail split in 1999); the former Cleveland Division line south of Harmon (Brewster) that was sold to Ohio Central Railroad by NS in 1988, and the Huron docks trackage.

W&LE still serves the Huron Docks using trackage rights on NS's former Nickel Plate Road line from Bellevue and a connecting line to the docks built by the NKP in 1952. A few other small portions of the original W&LE and AC&Y have been abandoned and/or replaced with trackage rights on parallel lines by W&LE.


Company offices in Brewster

W&LE also has trackage rights to Lima, Ohio, that originally used CSX lines from Carey to Upper Sandusky to Lima, but after the lease of the CSX line (the former Pennsylvania Railroad Fort Wayne Line) by RailAmerica's Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad, W&LE now uses trackage rights from its lines at New London to Crestline, Ohio on CSX, then west on the CF&E to Lima. These trackage rights were also a result of the Conrail split.

W&LE lines interchange with three major Class I railroads (Canadian National Railway, CSX Transportation, and the Norfolk Southern Railway). Many of the major commodities remain the same as in the early days: coal from southeastern Ohio; iron ore from the Great Lakes region; steel from five different mills; aggregates from four quarries; plus chemicals, forest products, and grain, generating approximately 130,000 carloads annually.

Branch lines reach as far south as Benwood, West Virginia (just south of Wheeling) and as far east as Connellsville, Pennsylvania. The W&LE joins the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad at Owensdale, Pennsylvania. The W&LE currently owns 575 miles (925 km) of track and retains trackage rights on another 265 miles (426 km).[1]


  1. ^ "A regional with the right connections". Progressive Railroading: 36. November 2007. 

General references

  • Corns, John B. (1991). The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway, Volume 1.  
  • Corns, John B. (2002). The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway, Volume 2.  
  • Rehor, John A. (1994) [1965]. The Nickel Plate Story.  
  • "History". Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  • "System map". Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  • "WE Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway".  
  • "Wheeling and Lake Erie RR details".  
  • "Wheeling and Lake Erie RR system map".  

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway
Preceded by
Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad
Regional Railroad of the Year
Succeeded by
Red River Valley and Western Railroad
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