N.Y. Railroad Law Section 28
Tunnel railroads


When, according to the route and plan for the building of its road, adopted by any railroad corporation, including corporations organized under chapter one hundred and forty of the laws of eighteen hundred and fifty, and the acts amendatory thereof, and supplementary thereto, it shall be necessary or proper to build it or any part of it underground, or to tunnel or bridge any river or waters, such corporation may enter upon, acquire title to and use such lands under water and uplands, except on or along any canals of the state, as shall be necessary for the purpose herein mentioned, and may construct, erect and secure the necessary foundations and other structures which may be required for operating and maintaining such road, or connecting the same with another, and to acquire, in the manner provided by law, such land or rights or easements in lands along its route, upon, over or beneath the surface thereof as may be necessary for the construction of its road and making such connections. Where such road runs underneath the ground, at such depth as to enable the corporation to tunnel the same, such tunnel shall be so built and at all times kept in such condition as to make the surface of the ground above the same and in the neighborhood thereof firm and safe for buildings and other erections thereon, and if surface excavations are made the surface shall be restored to its former condition as soon as can be done, except so far as may be actually required for ventilation of the tunnel beneath the same or access thereto. Such road or any part of it may be built within the limits of any city or incorporated village of this state, and run by means of a tunnel underneath any of the streets, roads or public places thereof, provided such corporation shall, before constructing the same underneath any such street, road or public place, have obtained the consent of the owners of one-half in value of the property bounded on the line of such street, road or public place, and the consent of the board of trustees of the village, by a resolution adopted at a regular meeting and entered on the records of the board, or of the proper authorities of the city having control of such streets, roads or public places. If the consent of such property owners can not be obtained, the appellate division of the supreme court in the department in which said city or village or any part thereof is situated, may upon application appoint three commissioners, who shall determine, after a hearing of all parties interested, whether such railroad ought to be built underneath such streets, roads or public places, or any of them, and in what manner the same may be so built with the least damage to the surface and to the use of the surface by the public and the determination of the commissioners confirmed by the court may be taken in lieu of the consent of the property owners. All railroad corporations constructing their road under this section shall be subject to all the provisions of this chapter applicable thereto. Any other railroad corporation may connect its road therewith, at such points or places as it may elect, and where such connections shall be made by connecting roads, the railroad corporations owning such roads shall build, at their joint expense, and for their joint use, such passenger and freight depots, and other accommodations for handling passengers and freight, as may be required for the convenience of the public. All railroad corporations constructing any tunnel under the provisions of this section shall be liable to any person or corporation for all damages which may be sustained by reason of the construction of such tunnel. Whenever it shall be necessary in constructing any railroad authorized by this section through any city or incorporated village, to alter the position or course of any sewer, or water or gas pipes, it shall be done at the expense of the railroad corporation under the direction of the department or corporation having charge thereof, so as not to interfere with such work. In all cases the use of streets, docks and lands beneath which such railroad is constructed, and on the route thereof and the right of way beneath the same, for the purpose of such railroad, shall be considered, and is hereby declared, a public use, consistent with and one of the uses for which streets and docks are publicly held. No public park or square in any city or village of this state shall be used or occupied by any corporation for any of the purposes of this section, and every road constructed hereunder in or through any such street or public place shall be wholly underground and constructed in a tunnel and not otherwise. But nothing in this section shall operate to revive any charter or franchise heretofore granted by or in the city of Brooklyn. This section does not authorize the construction of any bridge over or across the East or North rivers.

Source: Section 28 — Tunnel railroads, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/RRD/28 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

Accessed:
Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 28’s source at nysenate​.gov

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