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What I am not following is why this change of use counts as a taking. Typically you are entitled to compensation if there is a harm to your property value etc, but in the case of rails to trails instead of potentially having nasty diesel powered hunks of metal running in your back yard you now have a nice bike path that also increases your property value. These property owners are getting to dip into the kitty twice from these suits.

As I recall, Jim T. knows a fair bit about this.

I think the argument is that they sold an exclusive right to run a train on that ROW. The original sales price might have been higher if they had sold the right to run a train or a trail or a trail that might be reverted back to a train on the ROW. That's not without merit, but I think that second price would not be much higher.

Yeah it is clearer now that my assumption that you no longer have the potential nasty diesel powered hunks of metal running in your back yard was wrong after getting through the full piece.

The easements were usually acquired in the 19th century, when the prospect of the RR abandoning rail service, but the property being of value for a multiuse path for runners and cyclists, as virtually nil. The notion that would have made the value of the easement more than negligibly greater is absurd. This is just one more abuse by the property rights movement.

As a matter of first impression, I question whether these cases are beyond the statute of limitations or common law rules on adverse possession. The Congress could act to simplify this matter.

I don't see this as an abusive property rights movement. Rather, a few landowners and lawyers finding ways to make money.

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