Steel Caboose - W&LE 0222

Builder: W&LE Ironville Shop
Built: 1949
Original Owner: Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway
Class: AAR Class NE
Acquired: 2009

One of a handful of pieces in the Age of Steam with local ties, caboose 0222 was built in 1949 by the Wheeling and Lake Erie’s own Ironville (Toledo) Ohio car shop. The original Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway included a line that stretch from Zanesville northward all the way to Cleveland. One wonders how many freight trains 0222 trailed past a certain cornfield outside Sugarcreek that would be transformed into the Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum many years later.

After serving the W&LE and its corporate successors the Nickel Plate Road and Norfolk and Western, this caboose became the property of a tourist train operator in Minerva, Ohio. After that organization went out of business, Age of Steam acquired the car. After a multiple-year wait, 0222 finally moved by train to the Roundhouse in 2015.

Age of Steam crew members carefully sanded and repainted the caboose following the original paint blueprints. While numerous former W&LE steel cabooses still exist, 0222 is among very few restored to as-built condition and paint.