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Statutes > Indiana > Title32 > Ar23 > Ch11


IC 32-23-11

    

Chapter 11. Abandoned Railroad Rights-of-Way

IC 32-23-11-1

Nonapplicability of chapter
    

Sec. 1. This chapter does not apply to a railroad right-of-way that
is abandoned as part of a demonstration project for the relocation of
railroad lines from the central area of a city as provided under
Section 163 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 (P.L.93-87,
Title I, Section 163).
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-2

"Public utility" defined
    

Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "public utility" has the meaning set
forth in IC 8-1-8.5-1.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-3

"Railroad" defined
    

Sec. 3. (a) As used in this chapter, "railroad" refers to a railroad
company.
    (b) The term includes a person to whom any part of a right-of-way
was transferred under the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973
(45 U.S.C. 701 et seq.).
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-4

"Right-of-way" defined
    

Sec. 4. (a) As used in this chapter, "right-of-way" means a strip or
parcel of real property in which a railroad has acquired an interest for
use as a part of the railroad's transportation corridor.
    (b) The term does not refer to any real property interest in the
strip or parcel.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-5

"Right-of-way fee" defined
    

Sec. 5. "Right-of-way fee" refers to the fee simple interest in the
real property through which a right-of-way runs.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-6

Abandoned right-of-way
    

Sec. 6. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and in sections 7
and 8 of this chapter, a right-of-way is considered abandoned if any
of subdivisions (1) through (3) apply:
        (1) Before February 28, 1920, both of the following occurred:
            (A) The railroad discontinued use of the right-of-way for
railroad purposes.

            (B) The rails, switches, ties, and other facilities were
removed from the right-of-way.
        (2) After February 27, 1920, both of the following occur:
            (A) The Interstate Commerce Commission or the United
States Surface Transportation Board issues a certificate of
public convenience and necessity relieving the railroad of
the railroad's common carrier obligation on the right-of-way.
            (B) The earlier of the following occurs:
                (i) Rails, switches, ties, and other facilities are removed
from the right-of-way, making the right-of-way unusable
for continued rail traffic.
                (ii) At least ten (10) years have passed from the date on
which the Interstate Commerce Commission or the United
States Surface Transportation Board issued a certificate of
public convenience and necessity relieving the railroad of
its common carrier obligation on the right-of-way.
        (3) The right-of-way was abandoned under the Regional Rail
Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 U.S.C. 701 et seq.).
    (b) A right-of-way is not considered abandoned if:
        (1) rail service continues on the right-of-way; or
        (2) the railroad has entered into an agreement preserving rail
service on the right-of-way.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-7

Trail use condition imposed
    

Sec. 7. A right-of-way is not considered abandoned if the
Interstate Commerce Commission or the United States Surface
Transportation Board imposes on the right-of-way a trail use
condition under 16 U.S.C. 1247(d).
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-8

Sale of railroad's interest
    

Sec. 8. (a) A right-of-way is not considered abandoned if the
following conditions are met:
        (1) The railroad sells the railroad's rights in the right-of-way
before abandoning the right-of-way.
        (2) The purchaser of the railroad's rights in the right-of-way is
not a railroad.
        (3) The purchaser purchases the right-of-way for use by the
purchaser to transport goods or materials by rail.
    (b) A railroad may discontinue rail service on the right-of-way
without abandoning the right-of-way.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-9

Size of interest conveyed
    

Sec. 9. If a railroad conveys its interest in a right-of-way, the
railroad conveys not more than the interest it holds at the time of the

conveyance.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-10

Abandoned interest to vest in fee owner
    

Sec. 10. (a) This section applies if a railroad does not own the
right-of-way fee.
    (b) If a railroad abandons its right to a railroad right-of-way, the
railroad's interest vests in the owner of the right-of-way fee with a
deed that contains a description of the real property that includes the
right-of-way.
    (c) If a deed described in subsection (b) does not exist, then the
railroad's interest vests in the owner of the adjoining fee. The interest
of the railroad that vests in the owner of the adjoining fee is for the
part of the right-of-way from the center line of the right-of-way to the
adjoining property line.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-11

Effect of interest vesting on other easement and license holders
    

Sec. 11. (a) The vesting of a railroad's interest under section 10 of
this chapter does not divest a valid public utility, communication,
cable television, fiber optic, or pipeline easement, license, or legal
occupancy if the railroad granted the easement before the date on
which the railroad abandoned the right-of-way.
    (b) This chapter does not deprive a public utility, communication
company, cable television company, fiber optic company, or pipeline
company of the use of all or part of a right-of-way if, at the time of
abandonment, the company:
        (1) is occupying and using all or part of the right-of-way for the
location and operation of the company's facilities; or
        (2) has acquired an interest for use of all or part of the
right-of-way.
    (c) This chapter does not do the following:
        (1) Limit the right of the owner of a right-of-way fee to demand
compensation from a railroad or a utility for the value of an
interest taken and used or occupied after abandonment.
        (2) Grant to the owner of a right-of-way fee the right to obtain
duplicative compensation from a utility or pipeline company for
the value of the use of any portion of the right-of-way that is
subject to the terms of an agreement previously entered into
between the utility or pipeline company and the owner of the
right-of-way fee. For purposes of this subdivision, "pipeline"
does not include a coal slurry pipeline.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-12

Limitation on commencement of action
    

Sec. 12. (a) A person may bring an action to establish full rights
of possession of the person's right-of-way fee in any part of a

right-of-way that is burdened by an easement for railroad purposes
not more than thirty (30) years after the right-of-way is abandoned
under this chapter.
    (b) A person may commence an action to establish the person's
ownership of a right-of-way fee in any part of a right-of-way by
enforcing a possibility of reverter or a right of entry under
IC 32-17-10.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-13

Determination of ownership
    

Sec. 13. Except as provided in section 14 of this chapter, the
ownership of a right-of-way fee is determined under the same
principles that fee simple ownership in property is otherwise
determined under Indiana law.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-14

Adverse possessions or prescriptive easements not establishing title
or rights to property
    

Sec. 14. For purposes of this chapter, the following are not
adverse possessions or prescriptive easements to the owner and do
not establish title or rights to the real property:
        (1) Possession of a right-of-way by a nonrailroad purchaser
under section 8 of this chapter.
        (2) Possession of a right-of-way by a public utility or under a
communication, cable television, fiber optic, or pipeline
easement, license, or legal occupancy under section 11 of this
chapter.
        (3) Possession of a right-of-way by a responsible party (as
defined in IC 8-4.5-1-17).
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.

IC 32-23-11-15

Easement of necessity
    

Sec. 15. If a railroad owns a right-of-way fee that becomes
landlocked after the right-of-way is abandoned, the railroad retains
an easement of necessity in the abandoned right-of-way:
        (1) from the landlocked property to the nearest public highway,
road, or street; and
        (2) to the extent necessary to reach and use the landlocked fee
interest for its intended purpose.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.8.