The Nickel Plate Road leased the Wheeling & Lake Erie in 1949, but it was not till 1952 that the NKP renumbered W&LE class K-1 Berkshire No. 6417 to No. 817 in its class S-4. The W&LE's 2-8-4s, all erected by American Locomotive Company, were similar to those of the Nickel Plate whose class S-1 was the prototype for the famous "Van Sweringen Berkshires" operated by six United States railroads (see the Nickel Plate page in the Steam Locomotive Archive). The "Wheeling's" Berkshires had 69-inch drivers, 25x34-inch cylinders and a boiler pressure of 245 p.s.i. With 90 square feet of grate area, the K-1 class had 4720 square feet of evaporative heating surface and 2480 square feet of superheater surface and exerted 64,135 pounds of tractive effort. No. 6417's group, outshopped by ALCo in 1941, weighed 415,000 pounds.

The W&LE Berkshires featured an exclusively footboard pilot and an inboard-journal pilot truck, both unusual among the Van Sweringen Berkshires, and to my knowledge they were the only locomotives of this large group to boast disc drivers. In this post card view by Bob Collins from the Gary Thompson collection we see No. 817 taking water at Dillonvale, Ohio in June 1955. She was torched in 1961, and no former Wheeling & Lake Erie 2-8-4s remain.