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BullZie

Abandoned Railway Lines

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Down in my neck of the woods there seems to be an abundance of former railway lines (where the track has been removed). Now, my question is, does anyone know who owns (or would likely)that land? And if there is no 'No Trespassing' signs, then are they fair game for public use? Some of the ones I have found are fenced on either side (parallel the former track) by the adjacent property owners.

 

Bullzie

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No idea really, but your local city hall should have property records, and can tell you who the owner is. If the track has actually been removed, it may well have reverted to public property, but not necessarily. A lack of 'No Trespassing' signs doesn't make it public property. Most private property isn't marked 'No Trespassing'. And even if it is 'public', that would mean it's owned by some level of government, and they may or may not allow general public use.

 

SylvrStorm

 

*** Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry, and they laugh at you. ***

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Actually, it is a mixed bag.

 

The railway may retain ownership - particularily in downtown urban areas to use for commercial development.

 

It may also be sold/transferred to local municiple government for trail/park use.

 

In rural areas, the right-of-way may be sold to property owners on either side (particularily farmers).

 

Good chunks of the Trans Canada trail comprise of old railway roadbed.

 

There is no rule of thumb as you can see.

 

StAlbert4

(a railroader to pay the bills, geocacher as a vocation)

 

"Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again." (Franklin P. Jones)

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In Nova Scotia they are "usually" owned by Natural Resources who make them available to local community groups for trail development.

 

Paul

 

N 44 54.474

W 63 46.979

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The only thing I can add is that the railway will sometimes retain ownership of the R-O-W (right of way) so they may lay fibre-optic communications cables. On one stretch near here (and I'm not far from Bullzie) I'm aware of, there are natural gas lines so I suspect these R-O-Ws are leased to utilities too. Much has been sold off to private land owners though. You're right about there being a lot of them around here, you can often spot them by the innappropriate positioning of buildings with respect to the roads. If you're at N43 51.850 W79 46.562 (approx) there is a large galvanized metal shed sitting at a funny angle. This used to house a spare steam locomotive and tender on the old Toronto Grey and Bruce railway. This line was decommissioned before WWII so the building in question is much older than it first appears. If you blur your eyes a little you can see where the track used to run. There's a bit of history about this line as it was the one that had the worst train disaster in Canadian history at the time. This was further up the track near the Horseshoe. Do my "Five Stops on the Road to Knowhere" and you'll get the full story. :-)

 

Cheers!

Coupar-Angus

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