Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad Corporation

The Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad (LA&L), 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's major Class I connections have changed from the EL to Conrail and currently CSX Transportation.  Like the nearby Reading & Northern the LA&L has done a fantastic job of preserving rail service over lines that certainly would have been abandoned otherwise.  

In addition, the company has worked hard over the last near half-century to provide top notch service and grow its customer base.  Today, the LA&L's traffic base is primarily based in food products (such as grains, corn, and syrups) and it has several large acreage sites available for new business development.

Livonia, Avon & Lakeville C425 #428 (ex-Spokane, Portland & Seattle #320) leads a northbound local freight at South Loma Road in Livonia, New York during August of 2015. Matthew Langworthy photo.

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 same train seen above is at Genesee Junction Yard in Chili, New York on a bright summer's day in August of 2015. Matthew Langworthy photo.

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 at Painted Post. The LA&L acquired the B&H line in 1996 from the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency.  Today, the line to Hammondsport has been largely placed out of service although is not officially abandoned.  It is hoped that renewed business interest will lead to an eventual reactivation.

Livonia, Avon & Lakeville C425 #425 (ex-New Haven #2557) exits from the engine house in Lakeville, New York during August of 2015. Matthew Langworthy photo.

The final, and largest subsidiary of the the LA&L is the WNY&P. This shortline operates some 330 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 property primarily consists of former Erie/Erie Lackawanna and Pennsylvania Railroad trackage.  In fact, the road is named after a PRR subsidiary which served the region from northwest Pennsylvania to Buffalo and Rochester; the Western New York & Pennsylvania.  It remained on paper until 1955.  The present-day WNY&P 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.

Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Family Of Short Lines (Logos)

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. How long these historic locomotives continue to run is anyone's guess.  Alco's continued to be well-liked by some short line thanks to their tractive effort and, surprisingly, excellent fuel economy.  It is often not known that the builder generally employed 12-cylinder engines, not 16 which were typical by other first-generation manufacturers, including EMD.  Finally, 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.

B&H Rail Corporation Diesel Locomotive Roster

Builder Model Type Road Number Date Built Quantity
AlcoS14, 51950 (Ex-NKP and Ex-NYC)2
AlcoC424M421-4221963 (Ex-RDG and Ex-EL)2

Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad Diesel Locomotive Roster

Builder Model Type Road Number Date Built Quantity
AlcoRS1201949 (Ex-LEF&C)1
AlcoS27219411
AlcoC424319-3211963 (Ex-PRR and Ex-EL)3
AlcoC4204201963 (Ex-LIRR)1
AlcoC424m421-4241963 (Ex-RDG and Ex-EL)4
AlcoC4254251964 (Ex-NYNH&H)1

Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad Diesel Locomotive Roster

Builder Model Type Road Number Date Built Quantity
AlcoC4244261966 (Ex-BRC)1
AlcoC425550, 42641966 (Ex-SP&S)2
AlcoC430430-4331967 (Ex-NYC)4
MLWC630M6301968 (Ex-CP)1
MLWM6306311969 (Ex-CP)1
MLWM636636-6381970-1973 (Ex-CN)3


Livonia, Avon & Lakeville C425 #425 and a mate switches the yard in Avon, New York on December 19, 2014. Matthew Langworthy photo.

For train enthusiasts keep a sharp eye out when railfanning throughout the western New York and Pennsylvania.  This region was once thick with rail lines owned by the Erie, New York Central, Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Ohio (Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh), and several historic short lines.  They snaked their along deep river gorges and creeks to tap coal seams and the Keystone State's once-rich oil deposits.  While these secondary corridors once did handle large volumes of freight destined for steel mills, refineries, and other industries many survived decades longer than they probably should have.  As a result, the 1970's, 1980's, and early 1990's witnessed wholesale abandonments.  Today, you are sure to see old rights-of-way in addition to active lines if you know where to look.  If interested, please visit the USGS website in the right-hand column to check out old topographic maps; cross reference these with Google Maps' satellite view to identify the old grade's exact location.




  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. Short Lines
  4.  ›
  5. Livonia, Avon & Lakeville Railroad

Header Photo: Drew Jacksich




Researching Rights-Of-Way

A popular pastime for many is studying and/or exploring abandoned rights-of-way.  Today, there are tens of thousands of miles scattered throughout the country.  Many were pulled up in the 1970's and 1980's although others were removed long before that.  If you are researching active or abandoned corridors you might want to check out the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Historical Topographic Map Explorer.  It is an excellent resource with thousands of historic maps on file throughout the country.  Just type in a town or city and click on the timeline of maps at the bottom of the page!



Studying Diesels

You will be hard pressed at finding a better online resource regarding diesel locomotives than Craig Rutherford's TheDieselShop.us.  The website contains everything from historic (fallen flags) to contemporary (Class I's, regionals, short lines, and even some museums/tourist lines) rosters, locomotive production information, technical data, all notable models cataloged by the five major builders (American Locomotive, Electro-Motive, General Electric, Fairbanks-Morse, and Baldwin), and much more.  A highly recommended database!



Electro-Motive Database

In 1998 a gentleman by the name of Andre Kristopans put together a web page highlighting virtually every unit every out-shopped by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division.  Alas, in 2013 the site closed by thankfully Don Strack rescued the data and transferred it over to his UtahRails.net site (another fine resource).  If you are researching anything EMD related please visit this page first.  The information includes original numbers, serials, and order numbers.