Throughout the United States, old railroad corridors are being abandoned and converted into other uses, such as hiking, biking or other trail purposes. This converted use makes sense, as it is difficult to otherwise compile a long stretch of right-of-way that would be needed to create such trails. But are adjacent property owners entitled to some sort of just compensation when this conversion takes place? The answer is maybe.
Before a railroad operator can abandon its right-of-way, it must first secure approvals by the Surface Transportation Board. When that abandonment process ...
In the latest in a string of recent U.S. Supreme Court cases that impact right of way issues, on Monday the Court issued its opinion in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States (Case No. 12-1173, March 10, 2014). The issue in Brandt involved whether the U.S. Government retained a reversionary interest in the easements it granted to railroads pursuant to the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875.
The decision would impact, in particular, the "rails-to-trails" program, designed to convert old, abandoned railroad rights of way to bike trails. Under the program, the ...
The Supreme Court is apparently not done with its recent interest in takings decisions. Following the decisions in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, Horne v. Department of Agriculture, and Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt District, the Supreme Court announced today that it will hear another takings case, Marvin M. Brandt Irrevocable Trust v. United States. The Supreme Court's blog describes the issue in Brandt as follows:
Whether the United States retained an implied reversionary interest in rights-of-way created by the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of ...
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