A Program Derailed: The Inefficiencies of the Federal Railbanking Process, and How to Get It Back on Track

This article describes railbanking, a process that allows inactive railroad corridors to be converted to recreational use (Rails-to-Trails) while preserving the railroads’ right to reactivate the rail corridors should the need arise in the future. The author contends that the current system of rail-trail conversion is inefficient and that landowners may be penalized when the rights to their property do not revert to them after the railroad is done with the property. The author synthesizes theories of law and economics, describes rail-train trends, and provides anecdotal highlights of particular projects, with the goal of pointing out flaws in the rail-trail conversion process. Specific problems addressed include the current system of adjudicating landowners’ claims for rail-trail takings and inefficiencies that arise from cost externalization of takings liability. The author also offers recommendations for potential solutions to these problems.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01611826
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 1 2016 3:34PM