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#6109405 - 12/30/15 08:54 AM Railroad easement/right of way
Tenacious Hunter Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/13/15
Posts: 49
Loc: Abilene Texas
Got into this discussion with coworkers and customers yesterday, no one really knows the answer. I've tried Google and came up with varied answers as well, haven't found anything specific to Texas though. Is it legal to hunt railroad easement if it goes through your property?
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#6109481 - 12/30/15 09:31 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
tShawnB Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 1052
Loc: Forney
It is until you fire off a shot hitting the train. Other than that you can't place any structures within the easement, much the same rules as applies to an OH electrical easement.
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#6109492 - 12/30/15 09:36 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
Tenacious Hunter Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/13/15
Posts: 49
Loc: Abilene Texas
So walking the trail beside the train and hunting quail is ok as long as you don't shoot the train? Not questioning your answer but do you have a link or something I can settle this debate with? A casual conversation yesterday has turned into a lunch bet.. Lol
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#6109539 - 12/30/15 10:04 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
Leonardo Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 4867
Loc: Wise County
If it is an easement then its still your property. Might not be able to setup a permanent structure but you are still allowed to drive, walk, hunt, or whatever you see fit.

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#6109553 - 12/30/15 10:14 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
huntwest Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 2121
Loc: Albany
I am pretty sure that the railroads own their easements and you can not hunt in them. I know that you cant just go to a railroad crossing and start hunting up the easement.
I dont think that I ever seen a railroad easement going through private land here in Texas that wasn't fenced on both sides.

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#6109585 - 12/30/15 10:24 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
Tenacious Hunter Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/13/15
Posts: 49
Loc: Abilene Texas
My coworker has a piece of property that the tracks go by, there is no fence but my understanding is that the railroad does own the property. I said you couldn't hunt it, he said you can. He said they have for years growing up. It's been a while since hunters ed for me and I can't find a straight forward answer with Google? I have found that you can't build a structure, which imo is obvious but if it's not fenced and not posted then I can see where people say it's legal to walk beside and hunt?


Edited by Tenacious Hunter (12/30/15 10:25 AM)
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#6109590 - 12/30/15 10:25 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: huntwest]
stxranchman Online   content
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: huntwest
I am pretty sure that the railroads own their easements and you can not hunt in them. I know that you cant just go to a railroad crossing and start hunting up the easement.
I dont think that I ever seen a railroad easement going through private land here in Texas that wasn't fenced on both sides.

There are a couple ranches in Live Oak and Atascosa Counties in South Texas that have a RR easement on their land and they own both sides of the tracks with no fence.
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#6109648 - 12/30/15 10:53 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
Skitini Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/22/10
Posts: 185
Loc: North Texas
Interestingly we have been dealing with a very similar issue on some property we own in North Texas. The railroads do generally own their own property. Almost a 100 percent certainty in your situation. IF BNSF owned then it will be handled by Jones Lang Lasalle, a real estate company headed by Roger Staubach. They are notoriously difficult to work with and are very aggressive. If you do not have written permission to cross or hunt, then you would be trespassing. If you do have permission, you will know it because you will be forced to pay high insurance rates and fees to the railroad in order to use it. If you have a private or public crossing you can use the crossing number to look up ownership and status online.

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#6109669 - 12/30/15 11:06 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
tShawnB Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 1052
Loc: Forney
Bottom line is unless you have trains running thru there every 15 minutes, hunt the darn easement, just be safe about it. It's not like your not going to hear a train coming and can't back out of the easement until it passes. Come on man.
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#6109698 - 12/30/15 11:18 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
Cast Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 16444
Loc: North Texas - God's Country
I hunted the tracks as a kid in East Texas. Never a problem. We waved as the train passed.
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#6109720 - 12/30/15 11:31 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
HuntnFly67 Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/27/10
Posts: 4792
If it is an easement to the railroad, then you will have to go to the source document to determine what property rights were encumbered/acquired. There may be some benefit and use of the property that are still allowed to the underlying fee owner.

Typically the RRs own the land they lay their track on plus a clear/safe zone either side of the centerline of the track. If that is the case, someone walking or hunting in the right of way is technically trespassing or poaching. Just because it is done without getting caught or prosecuted doesn't mean it is legal.

RRs can be zealous when it comes to defending their property - and use the guise of safety to get it done.
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#6109725 - 12/30/15 11:32 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: huntwest]
ddmm Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 406
Loc: Haslet
Originally Posted By: huntwest
I am pretty sure that the railroads own their easements and you can not hunt in them. I know that you cant just go to a railroad crossing and start hunting up the easement.
I dont think that I ever seen a railroad easement going through private land here in Texas that wasn't fenced on both sides.


Main reason for the fencing on both sides is to keep the livestock in. Livestock live to find an opening to get to the "greener" pastures!!

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#6109742 - 12/30/15 11:42 AM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
lmberjack Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 121
Loc: Pearland and Cheapeside, TX
Typically the RR companies own the ROW. They are historically difficult and powerful landowners who don't play well with others. My guess is conductors don't really care about seeing people near the tracks because they probably see it all the time. If the right/wrong person were to see someone hunting from their ROW, they would care, primarily because one of their biggest concerns is safety. Common sense says you can hear a train coming and get off the tracks, but people and cars get hit, so the train companies are very sensitive to their ROW and who is on it. When TxDOT and pipeline companies ask for survey permission for a new project, they are often the last to provide (if they provide) and require a ton of safety precautions for simple civil survey of one crossing.

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#6109979 - 12/30/15 02:35 PM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
CCBIRDDOGMAN Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/16/07
Posts: 10189
Loc: CEDAR CREEK LAKE
I bet train conductors see some nice deer.
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#6109988 - 12/30/15 02:44 PM Re: Railroad easement/right of way [Re: Tenacious Hunter]
dgilbert Online   content
6 pack abs

Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 19072
RR easements belongs to the RR considered private property and consider trespassing.

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