THE REDEDICATION OF LIGHTLY USED OR ABANDONED RAIL RIGHTS OF WAY TO OTHER USES

A right-of-way is a valuable resource. However many rights-of-way are unused and should be rededicated to other uses. This involves many legal and practical problems. A right-of-way can either be a fee or an assement; the railroad can own the property out right or with certain conditions or have use of the land as a non-possessory interest. There are hence many ways to acquire a right-of-way such as by public or private grant, purchase, dedication, condemnation or by adverse possesion; each denotes a particular interest and intent in relation to the land. Intent and the manner in which the right-of-way was acquired also play an important role in deciding whether a property has been abandoned and if it has, who it reverts to. It is most likely that a state can acquire an abondoned right-of-way. The procedure for abondonment dates back to the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The vague standards of the ICC have been used until the enactment of the Rail Reorganization Act of 1973. This act requires notification to state officials and shippers and approval by the ICC. This not only clarifies the process of abondonment but given an opportunity to compromise before the abandoment takes place.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Osgoode Hall Law School of York University

    4700 Keele Street
    Downsview 463, ON  Canada 
  • Authors:
    • Kalmbach Jr, C F
  • Publication Date: 1976-1

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00129911
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 1976 12:00AM