Chapter 10 - § 10.3 • RAILROAD RIGHTS-OF-WAY


§ 10.3.1—Powers of Railway Corporation

A corporation formed for the purpose of constructing and operating a railroad358 has the power to lay out its road, not exceeding 200 feet in width, and to construct the same, and for the purpose of cuts and embankments to take as much more land as may be necessary for the proper construction and security of the railway.359

§ 10.3.2—Acquisition of Rights-of-Way by Railroads

Railroads have a statutory right of condemnation for the purpose of acquiring a necessary or required right-of-way or easement if it is unable to agree with the owner for the purchase of the right-of-way or easement.360 Thus, a railroad company has a legal right to institute a condemnation proceeding.361

For the acquisition of rights-of way by railroads from the United States, see § 1.4.

§ 10.3.3—Change of Right-of-Way

A railroad company, having located its right-of-way, whether completed or not, may make a new location of its line and may acquire the right-of-way for the new line in the same manner as is provided by law for acquiring a right-of-way. However, in acquiring the new right-of-way, the previous right-of-way will revert to the owner of the land through which the previous right-of-way was granted upon the payment or tendering payment to the railroad company of the amount assessed by the board of appraisers and paid by the railroad company for the previous right-of-way.362

§ 10.3.4—Sale of Right-of-Way

A railroad company may sell its right-of-way for the operation of a public passenger rail service. In such case, the right-of-way will continue to be used as a public highway only for the operation of public passenger rail service for purposes of § 4 of article XV of the Colorado Constitution if ownership of the right-of-way is transferred to a public passenger rail service provider, regardless of:

• Whether or not an order of abandonment has been issued for the right-of-way by the federal surface transportation board, any successor federal agency, or by any court of competent jurisdiction;
• The technology used to operate the public passenger rail service; or
• Whether ownership of the railroad is public or private.363



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