The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 3421. Definitions; application
(a) Except where a particular statute provides otherwise or where the context of a statute unambiguously requires a contrary construction, for the purposes of the parts of this title relating to railroads:
(1) “Agency” means the Agency of Transportation.
(2) “Board” means the Transportation Board.
(3) “Railroad” or “railroad corporation” includes any railroad located in whole or in part within this State owned, leased, operated, or managed by any person without regard to whether the person is located within or outside this State. The rights conferred in this title upon railroads shall inure to, and the duties imposed in this title upon railroads shall be binding upon, their owners, lessees, operators, and managers, as the case may be.
(b) The provisions of the parts of this title that impose upon a railroad any duty or liability shall apply to any person having the possession, control, or management of a railroad, or engines and cars running on a railroad. (Amended 1993, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 38.)
§ 3422. Scope of chapter
Railroad corporations organized or incorporated under the laws of the State shall be subject to the provisions of this part so far as consistent with their respective charters.
§ 3423. Construction of terms
Unless such construction is inconsistent with the manifest intent of the General Assembly or repugnant to the context of the same statute, the words “charter” and “act of incorporation,” or equivalent words as used in this title, shall include the articles of association under which a railroad corporation is formed pursuant to the provisions of chapter 64 of this title.
§ 3424. Application of provisions of title
The provisions of this title that impose upon a railroad corporation any duty, obligation, or liability shall apply to persons having the possession, control, or management of a railroad, or of the engines and cars running thereon, as lessees, assignees, trustees, or in any other capacity.
§ 3425. Adverse possession in roadway confers no right
A person shall not by reason of adverse possession acquire title to lands belonging to a railroad corporation where such lands lie within the limits of the roadway of such corporation as recorded in the town clerk’s office.
§ 3426. Contracts between corporations; corporate property
Railroad corporations in this State may make contracts and arrangements with each other, and with railroad corporations incorporated under the laws of any other state or under the authority of the Dominion of Canada, for leasing and running the roads of the respective corporations or a part thereof by either of their respective corporations. Such railroad corporation in this State may contract for and hold in fee simple or otherwise lands or buildings in this or other states for depot purposes and storing freight and may purchase and hold such personal property as is necessary and convenient for carrying into effect the object of this section.
§ 3427. Alien railroad corporations; exceptions
(a) An alien railway corporation shall not be directly or indirectly interested in any of the stock of a railroad corporation organized under the laws of this State without leave of the General Assembly. However, nothing in this section shall apply to the stock of any railroad corporation now or hereafter organized that shall own or operate all or any part of the railroad or other property owned or operated by a railroad corporation at any time prior to February 15, 1929, a majority of whose stock was owned, held, or controlled by an alien railway corporation, or by any of its subsidiary or affiliated companies or corporations, directly or indirectly, at any time prior to such date.
(b) An alien railway corporation shall not, by itself or through others, own or acquire title to any railroad, or the use thereof, or have anything to do with the management or control of a railroad in this State without leave of the General Assembly. However, nothing in this section shall apply to a railroad that at any time prior to February 15, 1929, in whole or in part, was owned, managed, operated, or controlled, or title to which or the use of which was acquired by any alien railway corporation, or by any of its subsidiary or affiliated companies or corporations, whether by itself or with others and whether directly or indirectly by stock ownership, lease, operating agreement, or otherwise.
§ 3428. Jurisdiction of Superior Court
On information of the State’s Attorney of any county through which the road runs, the Superior Court may enforce the provisions of section 3427 of this title by writ of sequestration, injunction, receivership, or any other appropriate remedy.
§ 3429. Rights and liabilities not affected
Nothing in this title shall affect rights or liabilities accrued prior to December 1, 1850.
§ 3430. Legislative control
The provisions of this title shall at all times be subject to alteration, amendment, or repeal by the General Assembly.
§ 3431. Railroad rights-of-way
Notwithstanding the provisions of 1 V.S.A. § 213, when railroad operations cease on railroad rights-of-way owned by the State or municipality, the title or interest held by the State or municipality in such rights-of-way shall be retained by the State or municipality for future transportation purposes and such other purposes as are not inconsistent with future transportation purposes, except that such rights-of-way shall not be used by members of the general public without permission of the State or municipality. The State or municipality shall allow abutting farm operations to use the land over which the rights-of-way pass for agricultural purposes. Unless use and occupancy of railroad rights-of-way adversely affect railroad safety, broadband facilities and wireless and other telecommunications facilities that are installed along or within the railroad right-of-way in compliance with applicable operations and safety standards at the time of installation are consistent with existing and future transportation purposes. (Added 1981, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2007, No. 79, § 8, eff. June 9, 2007.)
§ 3432. Emergency action for railroad derailment accidents
If a derailment of a freight or passenger train threatens public health or safety, or the disruption of rail service affecting interstate commerce, State, county, and municipal authorities shall allow necessary emergency equipment to be moved expeditiously to the site of the derailment, unless doing so poses an immediate risk to public health and safety as determined by the Secretary of Transportation or designee. (Added 2001, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. Feb. 19, 2002.)