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Section 6: Railroad Relocation Procedures

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There are instances where TxDOT needs ROW currently occupied by an operating railroad and the railroad company is agreeable to transferring the property to TxDOT if TxDOT will effectuate a relocation of the railroad facility to another location. Before any property interest can be conveyed to TxDOT and a railroad facility relocated, a proper order of abandonment and relocation must be issued by the STB.

If it is determined that a railroad is to be relocated, an agreement concerning all aspects of the relocation should be obtained. This agreement will be between TxDOT, the railroad company and the appropriate LPA. The LPA will be a party to the agreement due to their participation in the cost of the relocation. The agreement will detail the property needed by TxDOT and the property to which the railroad will be relocated. The agreement will also state if TxDOT or the LPA will be the acquiring agent for the replacement property. All information necessary to prepare the agreement should be transmitted by the District to the ROW Division. The ROW Division will prepare the agreement in collaboration with the District, Rail Division, and General Counsel Division. Duplicate originals of the agreement should be prepared for all parties.

Once the agreement has been executed, the relocation property will be acquired by TxDOT, by the appropriate LPA acting on behalf of TxDOT or by the railroad company. If TxDOT acts as the acquiring agency, the property should be obtained in the name of the railroad company. If the LPA acts as the acquiring agency, the property may be obtained in the name of the railroad company or in the name of the LPA. If the individual parcels are obtained in the name of the LPA, they should deed all parcels to the railroad company once acquisition has been completed. The railroad company will obtain the property in its own name. Only in very extraordinary circumstances is the relocation property to be obtained in the name of the State of Texas.

The acquisition of the replacement property, whether by TxDOT, the LPA or the railroad company must be done in compliance with TxDOT rules and regulations governing the acquisition of ROW, including compliance with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended. TxDOT shall be responsible for the costs of the acquisition of the replacement property. The appropriate LPA will participate in these costs in accordance with TxDOT policy. Once the replacement property is acquired, the railroad company will deed the property needed for the highway ROW to the state at no additional cost.

If the railroad is to be relocated to property already owned by the railroad company, then acquisition of the needed highway ROW will be acquired under normal TxDOT acquisition procedures. In this situation any agreement concerning the cost of construction for the new railroad facility will not be a ROW function.

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