Thursday, November 21, 2013

Abandoned railway lines are being sold to cable, utility and pipeline companies.

A right-of-way is a strip of land between 60 feet wide and 120 feet wide.
Abandoned railway lines and rights-of-way are being sold and leased to Bell Canada, Rogers Communications and pipeline companies. The CN Tower in Toronto is a transmission tower as well as a tourist attraction. Sir John A. Macdonald gave the CPR $25 million dollars and 25 million acres of land, with the understanding that any land not  needed for railway purposes. would revert to the Crown. And in British Columbia, a 20 mile swath of land on both sides of the railway tracks should be owned by the Crown in perpetuity.
In the  United States, the Rails to Trails Conservancy created a nationwide network of trails from former railway tracks and R/W's. The Conservancy is permitted to sell land for wind turbine farms, fiber optic/coaxial cable lines and energy pipelines.
The following information is from the book "Alternative Uses of Abandoned Railway Rights-of-Way---An Overview" November 1990- Ottawa Public Library.

The CN Tower, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, CN Skywalk and SkyDome were built on CNR land.

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