The Toledo, Lake Erie and Western Railway is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) Class III railroad, operating on 10.5 miles (16.9 km) of railway, ex- Norfolk and Western Railroad, née-Toledo, St. Louis and Western Railroad (later acquired by the Nickel Plate Road)and crosses the Maumee River on a 901 ft (275 m) bridge. This bridge is the largest owned by a tourist railroad east of the Mississippi River. This line runs from Waterville to MP 25 in Grand Rapids, Ohio, acquired when NW was filing abandonment on the line south of MP 15. Since 2011, Midwest Rail leases the line from MP 13.2 to MP 15 from Norfolk Southern, and MP 15 to MP 25 from the TLEW. Currently the TLEW only operates as a passenger railroad with Midwest Rail as sole freight operator on the line.
The TLEW temporarily shut down passenger operations due to track improvements needing to be completed in 2009, but due to a vandalism, the railroad failed to reopen for the 2010 season. Among many improvements, Midwest Rail paid for the re-painting of the Museum's ALCO S4, #5109, back into its original Chesapeake and Ohio colors in September of 2013. New lights, numberboards, and lanterns were also fitted. Another theft occurred soon after the 5109's repaint, the rare Nathan M5 horn that was planned to be used on 5109, was stolen off site and has yet to be found.
On February 14, 2014, the TLEW acquired the Waterfront Electric Railway Museum. A car barn, shop and a 56 square foot brick building that will be used as a gift shop and to present photographs and historic displays. Also included in this acquisition, was a former CTA Elevated Car and a PTC Snow Sweeper.