Burgess v. United States

In Burgess v. United States, 109 Fed. Cl. 223 (2013), defendant suggested that the activity authorized by the Trails Act (which includes 16 U.S.C. section 1247(d)) and the NITUs was within the scope of the permissible uses for easements dedicated to railroad purposes. The court rejected this claim, concluding that neither the creation of a public recreational trail nor the railbanking of the property for potential future use could be considered an act in furtherance of a railroad purpose. Burgess, 109 Fed. Cl. at 239-40. In Burgess, a number of the right-of-way deeds indicated that the property owner granted the railroad the right of way for their railroad, going on to describe the conveyance as a strip of land for that purpose one hundred feet wide across. Construing these deeds, the undersigned concluded that the language therein conveyed to the railroad only an easement for railroad purposes. Burgess, 109 Fed. Cl. at 226, 230.