HOUSE BILL NO. 765
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 7, TITLE 17 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RLATING TO RAILROAD CROSSINGS OVER HIGHWAYS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 7, Title 17 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto new sections to read as follows:
§712. Railroad Rights-of-Way; acquisition by Department of Highways and Transportation; notice of abandonment
In order to permit the State Department of Highways and Transportation to receive notice of, and be afforded an opportunity to acquire, by purchase or condemnation; railroad rights-of-way proposed to be abandoned, sold or leased, it shall be unlawful for any present railroad right-of-way in the State of Delaware to be abandoned, sold, or leased without first serving notice thereof upon the Secretary of the Department of Highways and Transportation, and no sale, conveyance, or lease of any part of such right-of-way shall thereafter be made to any person other than the State of Delaware for a period of ninety (90) days, from the time such notice was served, unless prior thereto the Secretary of the Department of Highways and Transportation shall have filed with the server of the notice a written disclaimer of interest in acquiring all or any part of said right-of-way. The Department of Highways and Transportation shall have the first and primary right to acquire such abandoned right-of-way. The railroad company shall not be entitled to compensation for said right-of-way if it does not possess a fee simple interest (clear title). The State, through the Department of Highways and Transportation, is hereby empowered to purchase, take by gift or devise, or condemn any identifiable interest, reversionary or otherwise, in said abandoned right-of-way. Any sale or conveyance made in violation of this Act shall be void.
§713. Right-of-Way defined
As used in this Act, "right-of-way" means that roadbed of a line of railroad, not exceeding one hundred feet in width, as measured horizontally at the elevation of the base of the rail, including the far embankment or excavated area, with slopes, slope ditches, retaining walls or foundations necessary to provide a width not to exceed one hundred feet at the base of rail, including tracks, appurtenances, ballast and any structures or buildings erected thereon.
§714. Contents of Notice
Each notice, required to be served pursuant to this Act, shall contain a brief description sufficient to identify the right-of-way intended to be abandoned and sold or otherwise disposed of, together with a statement that the notice is given to afford the Department of Highways and Transportation an opportunity to acquire the right-of-way or such portion thereof as may be required for public use.
§715. Service of Notice
Service of the said notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the Secretary of the Department of Highways and Transportation.
Approved June 11, 1974.