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Are railroads private property? who owns them, companies or the Government?

are we not allowed to even walk on them?

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Railroads are private property, several railroad companies own tracks and the land around them and the government does own some track too. I don't think you'll get in trouble if you just want to walk along some old abandoned tracks but it is illegal to take the spikes or anything else from the railroad.

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well that sucks. my position is, if youre just gonna let it rust away and never touch it, then it shouldnt be a loss to you if someone else takes it. but whatever.
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Well you could do a little research, hundreds of miles of track have been disowned by the railroad for tax reasons and the local government owns it. If this is the case you could go to a town office and ask permission to take some spikes for a 'project'... You may get lucky and they say it's ok to take them.
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In the US all railroad property is privately owned. Because it is extremely dangerous to walk along the tracks, and because the families of the idiots that get killed always sue, most railroads patrol the tracks and prosecute trespassers.

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