The Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad, headquartered in Lakeville, New York is a Class III shortline carrier which serves, in conjunction with subsidiaries Bath & Hammondsport Rail Corporation and Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad western New York state and northern Pennsylvania. The LA&L has been in operation since the days of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad when the EL threatened to abandon a 13-mile branch reaching south from Avon connecting Lakeville and Livonia. And so, in 1964 the LA&L was born. Since that time the railroad has since its major connection points change from the Erie-Lackawanna to Conrail, and finally today CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Canadian Pacific. Today, the LA&L's traffic base is primarily based in food products (such as grains, corn, and syrups).
The Livonia, Avon & Lakeville's (reporting marks, LAL) original 13-mile line dates back to the Erie Railroad's route between Lakeville, Avon, and north of Industry. The route was saved in the early 1960s by the Livonia community for $13,000. What became the LA&L originally started out as a tourist railroad in 1964 but later began to offer freight service as well. Today, the LA&L also extends to Henrietta (via ex-Lehigh Valley trackage) and Genesee Junction (via ex-New York Central trackage) with the railroad obtaining trackage rights as far south as Silver Springs giving the railroad interchange points with CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Canadian Pacific (overall the LA&L operates a little over 20 miles of its own rails). Interestingly, the community of Livonia which started it all no longer carries rail service as its part of the line is now abandoned.
The Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad's other operations include the aforementioned B&H Rail Corporation and Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad. The B&H operates a little over 40 miles of track (originally owned by the Champagne Railroad) between Painted Post and Wayland with a spur running between Bath and Hammondsport. The railroad currently has interchange connections with the Norfolk Southern's Southern Tier Route at Painted Post. The LA&L acquired the B&H line in 1996 from the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency.
The final, and largest subsidiary of the the LA&L is the WNY&P. This shortline operates more than 145 miles of former Conrail trackage in extreme western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania connecting communities such as Hornell, Olean, Jamestown, Emporium, Oil City, Meadville, and many others. The railroad interchanges with Norfolk Southern at a number locations as well as regional Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad at Driftwood and Corry. The LA&L acquired the WNY&P lines in 2001 from Norfolk Southern and today they are still able to handle train speeds between 25 and 40 mph. Currently, the WNY&P has a traffic base that includes feed & fertilizer, timber products, coal, sand, and other commodities.
The Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad is best known in the railfan community as operating an all-Alco fleet of diesels, dating back to when it acquired its first in 1972, an RS-1 #20 which remains in operation on the fleet (ex-Lake Erie, Franklin & Clarion). Since that time the railroad has grown its fleet to an S2 switcher and several four-axle road-switchers. Included below is roster information for each of the railroads in the LA&L system. Also, to learn more about the Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad please click here to visit their official website which gives further information about its subsidiaries and overall operations.