Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 4. LAWS RELATING TO UTILITY CORPORATIONS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES [7503 - 8286]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 1. Railroad Corporations [7503 - 7727]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

ARTICLE 3. Rights of Way and Franchises [7551 - 7557]
  ( Article 3 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

7551.
  

Every railroad corporation is granted the right of way for the location, construction, and maintenance of its necessary works, and for every necessary adjunct thereto, over any swamp, overflowed, or other public lands of the State not otherwise disposed of or in use, not in any case exceeding in length or width that which is necessary for the construction of such works and adjuncts, or for the protection thereof, and in no case to exceed 200 feet in width.

These grants do not apply to public lands of the State within the corporate limits of cities, or within three miles thereof.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

7551.1.
  

The Secretary of Transportation may grant to every railroad corporation whose primary business is the transportation of passengers the rights-of-way for the location, construction, and maintenance of its necessary works and for every necessary adjunct thereto over any portion of highway owned by the State of California which is not otherwise disposed of or in use, not in any case exceeding in length or width that which is necessary for the construction of works and adjuncts, or for the protection thereof, and in no case to exceed 200 feet in width.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 496. (AB 1317) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 543 of Ch. 352.)

7551.3.
  

(a) To ensure that a fair and reasonable price is paid for public acquisition of railroad rights-of-way, it is the intent of the Legislature to have railroad rights-of-way valuation procedures and guidelines developed and adopted for use when state and federal funds are expended.

(b) The Secretary of Transportation in collaboration with other public agencies and within existing resources, shall develop recommended procedures and guidelines for valuation of railroad rights-of-way.

(c) The recommended procedures and guidelines shall be transmitted to the Legislature and Governor on or before March 1, 1994.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 497. (AB 1317) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 543 of Ch. 352.)

7552.
  

(a) Every railroad corporation is granted the right, subject to subdivision (b), to take from any of the lands belonging to the state, adjacent to the works of the corporation, all materials, such as wood, stone, and earth, naturally appurtenant thereto, which may be necessary and convenient for the construction of its works and adjuncts.

(b)  Except as specified in subdivision (c), before a railroad corporation may take the materials specified in subdivision (a), the railroad corporation shall enter into an agreement with the Department of General Services to reimburse the state for the full value of the removed materials. The agreement shall contain a provision requiring the railroad corporation to return the land and timber to the natural state which existed prior to the removal of the materials, to the extent it is reasonable to do so, if the Department of General Services determines that requirement to be appropriate.

(c) A railroad corporation may take the materials specified in subdivision (a) without previously entering into the agreement specified in subdivision (b) if the railroad takes these materials for the purpose of reopening a rail line which was closed due to an unforseeable or unexpected event. However, within 30 days after reopening the rail line, the railroad corporation shall enter into an agreement with the Department of General Services to reimburse the state for the full value of the removed materials.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 325, Sec. 1.)

7553.
  

When any selection of a right of way, or land for an adjunct to the works of a railroad corporation, is made by any corporation, the secretary thereof shall transmit to the State Lands Commission, the State Controller, and the recorder of the county in which the selected lands are situate, a plat of the lands so selected, giving the extent thereof and uses for which the lands are claimed or desired, duly verified to be correct. If approved, the State Lands Commission shall so endorse the plat, and issue to the corporation a permit to use the lands, unless, on petition properly presented to the court, a review is had and such use prohibited.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

7554.
  

If any corporation receiving state lands or appurtenances thereunder is dissolved, ceases to exist, is discontinued, or the route or line of its works is so changed as not to cover or cross the lands selected, or the use of the lands selected is abandoned, the selected lands revert, and the title is reinvested in the State or its grantees, free from all such uses.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

7555.
  

No railroad corporation may use any street, alley, or highway, or any of the land, whether covered by water or otherwise, owned by any city or county, unless the right to do so is granted by a vote of the governing body of the city or county. If any railroad corporation operating within a city or county applies to the governing body of the city or county for a franchise or permit to cross any such street, alley, or highway, with main, branch, side, switching, or spur trackage, the governing body of the city or county, within a reasonable time, shall hold a public hearing upon the application after reasonable notice to the applicant and to the public and shall thereafter grant the franchise or permit applied for upon reasonable terms and conditions unless such governing body reasonably finds that the grant of the franchise or permit would be detrimental to the public interest of the city or county. Nothing in this section imposes any duty upon or limits the authority of, any city organized and existing pursuant to a freeholder’s charter, or any officer thereof.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 767.)

7556.
  

The governing body of a county, city and county, or city, under such regulations, restrictions, and limitations, and upon such terms and payment of license tax as the county, city and county, or city may provide, may grant franchises to railroad corporations for the construction of elevated or underground railroad tracks over, across, or under the streets and public highways of any such county, city and county, or city, for a term not exceeding 50 years. Before granting such franchise there shall be presented to the governing body a petition signed by the owners of a majority of the landed property, other than public property, on the line of the elevated portion applied for.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

7556.1.
  

Notwithstanding Section 7556, to railroad corporations whose primary business is the transportation of passengers, the governing body of a county, city and county, or city under regulations, restrictions, and limitations, and upon terms and payment of a license tax as the county, city and county, or city may provide, may grant franchises for the construction of elevated or underground railroad tracks over, across, or under the public streets and highways of the county, city and county, or city.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1553, Sec. 6.)

7557.
  

Where any railroad or street railroad tracks are located on property that a public entity is authorized to acquire by eminent domain for road, highway, boulevard, street, or alley purposes or on property that a city, county, or municipal water district is authorized to acquire by eminent domain for the right-of-way of a public utility that it will construct, complete, and maintain, the plaintiff may require the relocation or removal of such tracks by exercise of the power of eminent domain. In such case, the complaint shall contain a description and map of the location and proposed location of such tracks.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1240.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC3