The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway is a regional railroad that provides common carrier rail service over approximately 900 miles in 23 counties located in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland.
The Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway traces it origins to April 6, 1871, though the railroad’s oldest predecessor, the Carroll County Rail Road, was chartered on March 9, 1850. Service on the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway began on May 31, 1877.
In 1880, railroad financier Jay Gould helped reorganize the railroad, which also converted to standard gauge and built new lines.
Known as the “Wailing and Leg Weary” because of its financial problems over the years, the railroad was leased by the Nickel Plate Road in 1949. The Nickel Plate Road merged with the Norfolk and Western Railway in 1964 and is today a part of Norfolk Southern Railway.
On June 1, 1990, Norfolk Southern sold several of its lines, including much of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway. The regional railroad that purchased the lines assumed the name Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway.
Today, the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway connects with three Class I railroads and 14 short line railroads, and primarily carries commodities such as coal, stone, iron ore, and steel.