In 1869 the Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails in Promonathory Point Utah. The land they used often was acquired by government using “Eminent Domain”. The Supreme Court (91 US 367), first examined Eminent Domain in 1879. Less than 100 years later many railroad lines were abandoned. In 1983, Congress passed what is now known as the federal Rails-To-Trails law (16 U.S.C. 1247(d)). In 1990, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the property owners were entitled to compensation for the land taken for these rail trails. In 1996, a Mr. Preseault was awarded $1.5 million as compensation for the land taken for a trail through his property (see Preseault v. US, 100 F3d 1525, Fed. Cir. [1996]).

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