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we&h

CORPORATE HISTORY
    The WE&H was orignially formed in the early 1980's as the Wiley Road.  It ran as a short line off a connection to the Burlington Northern (BN) in rural Illinois.  Unfortunately the Wiley Road suffered the same fate many other short lines have.  With little investment and revenue the Wiley Road was in a bankrupt condition by 1995. 

    Two investors, Tim Erickson and Jeff Hanke, saw potential in the small defunct line.  They sunk millions of dollars into a merger deal with the original Wiley Road owner, Darrell Wiley.  The WE&H was born on July 4, 1996.  Revitalized under new ownership, the WE&H acquired new rolling stock and locomotives from neighboring rail roads and dealers.  The WE&H retired all of the Wiley Road locomotives and started a new roster geared toward cutting costs and adding revenue. 
    In 1996 just the gravel pit was served.  Expansion and heavy marketing has added intermodal, grain, passenger and general freight to the normal gravel traffic.  In 1997 a new WE&H yard was laid to better facilitate traffic between BNSF and WE&H.  BN had merged with AT&SF in 1995 to form the BNSF.  In 1998 WE&H broke into profitability for the first time since 1982.  The WE&H has maintained a policy of continual improvement on the line.  Much of the original light rail has been replaced with new heavy rail.  Ballast and ties have been replaced on almost the entire line.  In 2002 the WE&H announced its most ambitious project to date.  An extension from the WE&H yard to Sycamore.  This town has a connection with the Union Pacific.  In 2006 the extension was complete when disaster struck.
    In 2006 a catastrophic flood destroyed the original WE&H.  The company worked fevorishly to save as many structures, rolling stock and misc. equipment as possible.
    In late 2007, the WE&H investors banded together and began to rebuild.  In a new location, a new WE&H is rising from the ashes of the previous road.  As of 2008, a new right of way had been created.  Industrial traffic is light as the marketing department is working hard to generate on line traffic.  Some ballast is down, some track runs without it.  Some buildings are in their new homes, others have yet to be placed.  The new right of way still serves the town of DeKalb, IL.  However, the road now runs out of it in both directions.  A BN connection is maintained and service to a new industrial area was just finished.

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Original WE&H
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