Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 13. Railroad Corporations
11/27/2022

Article 2. Powers.

§ 56-346. Certain powers conferred by law on railroad corporations.

In addition to the powers conferred by Title 13.1, every corporation of this Commonwealth organized to conduct a railroad business shall have power to cause to be made such examinations and surveys for its proposed railroad as are necessary to the selection of the most advantageous route or routes, or for the improvement or straightening of its line or change of location, for constructing or providing additional tracks or facilities or for any other work or thing mentioned in § 56-347; and for such purposes, by its officers and servants, to enter upon the lands or waters of any person, but subject to responsibility for all damages that may be done thereto.

Code 1919, § 3857; 1920, p. 305; 1944, p. 534; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 3857a; 1956, c. 435.

§ 56-347. Power of condemnation; limitation.

In addition to the powers conferred by Title 13.1, every corporation of this Commonwealth organized to conduct a railroad business shall have the power to acquire by the exercise of the right of eminent domain any lands or estates or interests therein, sand, earth, gravel, water or other material, structures, rights-of-way, easements or other interests in lands, including lands under water and riparian rights, of any person, which are deemed necessary for the purposes of construction, reconstruction, alteration, straightening, relocation, operation, maintenance, improvement or repair of its lines, facilities or works including depots, stations, shops, yards, industrial spurs, switches and sidetracks, terminals or additional tracks or facilities, and for all other necessary railroad purposes and purposes incidental thereto, for its use in serving the public, including permanent, temporary, continuous, periodical or future use, whenever such corporation cannot agree upon the terms of purchase or settlement with any such person because of the incapacity of such person or because of the inability to agree on the compensation to be paid or other terms of settlement or purchase, or because any such person cannot with reasonable diligence be found or is unknown or is a nonresident of the Commonwealth, or is unable to convey valid title to such property. Such proceedings shall be conducted in the manner provided by Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1 and shall be subject to the provisions of § 25.1-102. Provided, however, such corporation shall not take by condemnation proceedings a strip of land for its right-of-way within sixty feet of the dwelling house of any person except (a) when the court having jurisdiction of the condemnation proceeding finds, after notice of motion to be granted authority to do so to the owner of such dwelling house, given in the manner provided in §§ 25.1-209, 25.1-210, and 25.1-212, and a hearing thereon, that it would otherwise be impractical, without unreasonable expense, to construct the proposed works of the corporation at another location; or (b) in case of occupancy of the streets or alleys, public or private, of any county, city or town, in pursuance of permission obtained from the board of supervisors of such county or the corporate authorities of such city or town; or (c) in case of occupancy of the highways of this Commonwealth or of any county, in pursuance of permission obtained from the authorities having jurisdiction over such highways.

Code 1919, § 3857; 1920, p. 307; 1944, p. 536; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 3857a; 1956, c. 435; 1962, c. 221; 2003, c. 940.

§ 56-348. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1996, cc. 114 and 157.

§ 56-349. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1956, c. 435.

§ 56-352. Railroad to have an insurable interest in property along its route.

Every railroad company is hereby invested with an insurable interest in the property upon the route operated by it, and may procure insurance thereupon in its own behalf for protection against any damage to such property by fire or otherwise, for which such company shall or might be liable.

Code 1919, § 4018.

§ 56-353. Railroad company may appoint police agents.

The president or any other executive officer of any railroad company incorporated by this Commonwealth may, with the approval of the circuit court of any county or the corporation court of any city through which the road passes or has its chief office, appoint one or more police agents, who shall have authority in all cases in which the rights of such railroad company are involved to exercise within the Commonwealth all powers which can be lawfully exercised by any police officer for the preservation of the peace, the arrest of offenders and disorderly persons, and for the enforcement of laws against crimes; and such president or other executive officer may remove any such agent at his pleasure; but, any court giving such consent may at any time revoke it.

Code 1919, § 3944; 1930, p. 787.

§ 56-354. Conductors, etc., to be conservators of the peace.

Conductors and engineers of railroad passenger trains, and station and depot agents, shall be conservators of the peace. Each shall have the same power to make arrests that other conservators of the peace have except that the conductors and engineers of passenger trains shall only have such power on board their respective trains and on the property of their companies while on duty and the agents at their respective places of business. Conductors, engineers, and agents may cause any person so arrested by them to be detained and delivered to the proper authorities for trial as soon as practicable.

Code 1919, § 3944; 1930, p. 788; 1996, cc. 114, 157.