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Louisiana Southern Railway Company

As an aftermath principally of the financial depression of the 1930s, Southern Railway System companies went through a long era of abandoning unprofitable lines and segments of lines. The increasing industrialization of the South and the decision of large industry to find new sites in Southern System territory brought a turnabout in the 1950s, however, and prompted Southern and its affiliates to acquire certain shortline railroads, advantageously located, in which they had not theretofore had any financial interest, as potential feeders to their existing main lines.

John B. Hyde, Legal History of the Lines of Railroad of Southern Railway Company, 1958

Charted in 1897 as the successor to two defunct southeast Louisiana shortlines, the Louisiana Southern Railway Company operated a mainline that extended 45 miles, from Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans to Pointe a la Hache in Plaquemines Parish, with a 15 mile branch from Poydras Junction to Shell Beach on Lake Borgne. For twelve years, beginning in 1911, the property was leased to the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico Railroad Company. Independent operation followed, struggling until a war-era boost in traffic made the line profitable and attractive for purchase. Through its regional subsidiary, New Orleans & Northeastern, the Southern Railway acquired the shortline in 1953.

LAS company map / E. Hence / collection

LAS tracks in operation in 2001 / drawn by JCH

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