Looking Good After More than a Decade

WE 1

WE 2

Ohio celebrated its bicentennial in 2003. As part of the festivities, the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway painted GP35-3 No. 200 into a black and white livery with a red, white and blue bicentennial logo, and an Ohio flag painted on its sides. White stripes adorned the nose.

I’ve seen and photographed this unit before, including a time when it was leading a train on CSX when the W&LE still used its trackage rights on the New Castle Subdivision through Kent.

Although this livery is approaching 12 years of age, the unit itself is much older. It was built by EMD in December 1964 for the Southern Railway, where it carried roster number 2706.

The “new” Wheeling acquired the unit in 1990. It was rebuilt in October 1995. Along the way it acquired Alco trucks.

My latest encounter with W&LE 200 was near New London earlier this month. It was sitting in the siding just east of Chenango Road waiting for the approval of the IG dispatcher to get onto the CSX Greenwich Subdivision.

With fellow unit 4016 (an SD40-3), the 200 was cooling its heels with a Willard-bound manifest freight.

The original plan was to photograph this train at GN Tower in Greenwich after it got on the CSX Willard Terminal Subdivision.

But with time running short — it was getting to be late afternoon — we decided to look for it in New London.

And there is was, looking rather splendid. Maybe the railfan gods were looking out for us because some late day sunlight poked through a crevice in the clouds and No. 200 looked even more spectacular taking a bow for the cameras.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

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