Eminent Domain & Land Use


An Overview of Landowners’ Rights in Federal Rail-to-Trail Conversions


On January 17, 2024, Lewis Rice members Lindsay S. C. Brinton and Meghan S. Largent presented a webinar hosted by The National Agricultural Law Center. This presentation addressed the process for federal rail-trail conversions under the National Trails System Act’s Section 1247(d), the related process in the federal Surface Transportation Board, and related Fifth Amendment litigation in the United State Court of Federal Claims. The presentation also discussed landowners’ rights to compensation and how just compensation is determined in rail-trail conversions under federal law. 

To watch the free recording of this webinar, click under "Resources" below.

Lewis Rice's federal takings attorneys represent landowners throughout the United States pursuing takings claims against the federal government. One primary focus of the group is representing landowners in what is commonly referred to as rails to trails takings. Attorneys in this group litigate cases in the United States Court of Federal Claims on behalf of those whose property was taken by the federal government pursuant to the National Trails System Act, which authorizes abandoned railroad lines to be converted to public parks. The goal is to obtain compensation from the government for the taking of their land for the public recreational trail.