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A right-of-way is a right to make a way over a piece of land, usually to and from another piece of land. A right of way is a type of easement granted or reserved over the land for transportation purposes, this can be for a highway, public footpath, a canal, railway, electrical transmission line, oil and gas pipelines, etc. A right-of-way is reserved for the purposes of maintenance or expansion of existing services with the right-of-way. In the case of an easement, it may revert to its original owners if the facility is abandoned. This article focusses on rail rights of way. For highways see Right of way (traffic) and for pedestrian rights of way Right of way (public throughway).
In the United States, railroad rights-of-way are generally considered private property by the respective railroad owners and by applicable state laws. Most U.S. railroads employ their own police forces, who can arrest and prosecute trespassers found on their rights-of-way. Some railroad rights-of-way include recreational rail trails.
Uses other than rail transport
Railroad rights-of-way need not exclusively be for railroad tracks and related equipment. Easements are frequently given to permit the laying of communication cables (such as optical fiber) or natural gas pipelines, or to run electric power transmission lines overhead.
- Eminent domain
- Noise barrier
- Permanent way
- Rail trail
- Rail transport
- Right of way (public throughway)
- Right of way (traffic)
- Rights of way in England and Wales
- Henry Campbell Black, A law dictionary containing definitions of the terms and phrases of American and English jurisprudence, ancient and modern: and including the principal terms of international, constitutional, ecclesiastical, and commercial law, and medical jurisprudence, with a collection of legal maxims ... "Right-of-way"(West Publishing Co., 1910), pg. 1040 http://books.google.com/books?id=R2c8AAAAIAAJ&vq=right+of+way&source=gbs_navlinks_s