is a strip of land that is granted – through an easement
or other mechanism – for transportation
purposes, such as for a rail line
. In the case of an easement, it may revert to its original owners if the facility is abandoned.
In the United States, railroad rights-of-way are 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.
In the United Kingdom, railway companies received the right to resume land for a right-of-way by a private act of Parliament.
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
Some railroad rights-of-way include recreational rail trails.