What is the Legal Right of Way for Railroad Track Easements in Georgia

Full Question:

What is the legal right of way for railroad track easements in the state of Georgia? I have heard that it is now 500 feet which would take almost all of my land; is this correct?
12/14/2007   |   Category: Real Property ยป Easements   |   State: Georgia   |   #13884


The following is a GA statute:

§ 46-8-100. General powers

A railroad company organized and incorporated as provided in this chapter shall be empowered:

(1) To cause such examinations and surveys to be made for the proposed railroad as shall be necessary for the selection of the most advantageous route, and, by its officers, agents, servants, or employees, to enter upon the land or water of any person for that purpose, provided that the company shall be responsible for all damage done to such property;

(2) To take and hold such voluntary grants of real estate and other property as may be made to it to aid in the construction, maintenance, and accommodation of said road; but the real estate received by voluntary grant shall be held and used for the purpose of such grant only;

(3) To acquire, purchase, hold, and use all such real estate and other property as may be necessary for the construction and maintenance of said road and of the stations, wharves, docks, terminal facilities, and all other accommodations necessary to accomplish the object of the corporation; and to condemn, lease, or buy any land necessary for its use;

(4) To lay out its road, not exceeding in width 200 feet, and to construct the same, and, for the purpose of cuttings and embankments and for obtaining gravel and other material, to take as much land as may be necessary for the proper construction, operation, and security of said road; and to cut down any trees that may be in danger of falling on the track or obstructing the right of way, making compensation therefor as provided by law;

(5) To construct its road across, along, or upon or otherwise to use any stream of water, watercourse, street, highway, or canal which the route of its road intersects or touches, provided that no railroad shall be constructed along and upon any street or highway without the written consent of the municipal or county authorities. Whenever the track of any such railroad shall touch, intersect, or cross any road, highway, or street, it may be carried over or under the road, highway, or street, or cross at a grade level or otherwise, as may be found most expedient for the public good;

(6) To cross, intersect, join, or unite its railroad with any other railroad at any point on its route, or upon the ground of any other railroad company, with the necessary turnouts, sidings, switches, and other conveniences necessary for the construction of said road, and to run over any part of any other railroad's right of way as may be necessary to reach its freight depot in any city through or near which said railroad may run, provided that the crossing of another railroad, either over or under or at grade level or otherwise, shall be at the expense of the company making the crossing, and in such way and manner, and at such time, as not to interfere with the railroad in the operation of its trains or the conduct of its regular business;

(7) To receive and convey persons or property over their railroads by the use of steam, electricity, or any other motive power, and to receive compensation therefor, and to do all things incident to railroad business;

(8) To erect and maintain convenient buildings, wharves, docks, stations, fixtures, and machinery, within or without a city, for the accommodation and use of its passenger and freight business;

(9) To regulate the time and manner in which passengers and property shall be transported, and the compensation to be paid therefor, subject to any law of this state upon the subject, or any rule or regulation governing such matters by the commission;

(10) To borrow such sums of money, at such rates of interest and upon such terms, as the company or its board of directors shall deem necessary or expedient, and to execute trust deeds or mortgages, or both, if the occasion requires, on the railroad in process of construction, or after the same has been constructed, for the amounts borrowed or owed by the company. The company may make such provisions in such trust deed or mortgage for transferring, as security for any bonds, debts, or sums of money secured by such trust deeds or mortgages, its railroad track, depots, grounds, rights, privileges, franchises, immunities, machine shops, roundhouses, rolling stock, furniture, tools, implements, and appurtenances used in connection with the railroad, then owned by said company, or which thereafter it may acquire, as it thinks proper; and all such deeds of trust and mortgages shall be recorded as provided by law for the record of mortgages, in each county through which the road runs, provided that all rights to borrow money, issue bonds or other evidences of debt, and execute trust deeds or mortgages to secure the same shall be exercised within the limitations and in the manner which shall be prescribed by law, and no debt, trust deed, mortgage, or other lien shall be made or created except on terms and conditions similar to those prescribed in Code Section 46-8-53 for the increase of capital stock or the issuance of bonds.

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