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Railroads - Abandonment in Stages

Railroad abandonment represents a unique mix of state and federal law. In most instances, abandonment of a railway begins with an application to the Surface Transportation Board (STB). State statutory and common law abandonment only come into play after the STB approval process is complete. The South Carolina decision Eldridge v. City of Greenwood: 331 S.C. 398 ; 503 S.E.2d 191: (1998) observes: "...the United States Supreme Court has held that the exclusive jurisdiction of the STB continues at least until an abandonment application is approved, at which time title to and disposition of former railroad property may be decided under applicable state law."

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