MURPHY BRANCH CORRIDOR REDUCTION.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1168 (Public) Filed Friday, May 22, 2020
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE REDUCTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION'S INTEREST IN A CERTAIN PORTION OF THE ANDREWS TO MURPHY RAIL CORRIDOR WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF CHEROKEE COUNTY.
Intro. by Corbin, McNeely.

Status: Ch. SL 2020-59 (Jun 30 2020)

Bill History:

H 1168/S.L. 2020-59

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jul 2 2020 - More information

    AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE REDUCTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION'S INTEREST IN A CERTAIN PORTION OF THE ANDREWS TO MURPHY RAIL CORRIDOR WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF CHEROKEE COUNTY. SL 2020-59. Enacted June 30, 2020. Effective June 30, 2020.


  • Summary date: Jun 17 2020 - More information

    Senate committee substitute to the 2nd edition deletes all provisions of the 2nd edition and replaces it with the following.

    Section 1

    Defines the term Rail Corridor to mean the former Murphy Branch rail corridor and describes the composition of that corridor as well as the exclusions from the defined term. Provides that where there is more than one track in the Rail Corridor, the State must retain its property interest in the Rail Corridor for a distance of 25 feet from the center of each track.

    Section 2

    Uniformly reduces the State’s interest in the right-of-way claimed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) with respect to the Rail Corridor to 25 feet on each side of the center line of the tracks traversing the Rail Corridor. Transfers the interest in real property previously held by the State to the current adjacent real property owner of record upon that owner’s release of all claims against the State and DOT. Requires that such transfers of interest and releases of claims occur within two years of the effective date of the act. Requires DOT to provide the adjacent property owner a quitclaim deed or deed of release within 180 days of the property owner’s release of claims. Provides that the property transfers do not require Council of State or Board of Transportation approval.

    Section 3

    Provides that notwithstanding Section 2, DOT must retain an easement for entry and access for maintenance and repair of the track and associated structures that is parallel to the retained portion of the Rail Corridor and 15 feet in width. Describes limitations on building and activities within the easement and clarifies that the easement is not prohibited from also being subject to an agricultural or conservation easement.

    Section 4

    Describes various ways in which the act should not be construed.  Makes clear that the act does not alter or amend federal law and does not alter or amend the management of privately owned railroads.

    Section 5

    Repeals Section 35.18 of SL 2016-94, which authorizes DOT to lease or convey specified portions of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, formerly the Andrews to Murphy rail line, to the County of Cherokee and the Towns of Andrews and Murphy for public recreation use, as well as mandates revitalization of rail lines for the operation of excursion trains, if applicable.


  • Summary date: May 28 2020 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Requires that petitions from property owners for DOT to provide a quitclaim deed to be submitted within two years of the act's effective date.

    Adds that the act does not apply, and is not to be construed to apply, to any publicly-owned or privately-owned rail or other transportation corridor, except the Rail Corridor.

    Reduces the appropriation to the Department of Transportation from $100,000 to $1,000.


  • Summary date: May 22 2020 - More information

    Reduces the Department of Transportation's interest in the specified portion of the former Murphy Branch rail corridor between Andrews and Murphy by 25 feet on each side of the center line of the corridor's tracks, and transfers any corresponding real property interest without consideration to current adjacent real property owners. Provides for clarification where there is more than one track. Allows for adjacent real property owners to petition DOT to provide a quitclaim deed to evidence the real property transferred, with preparation and recording expenses borne by the petitioning party. Specifies that the transfers are not subject to Council of State approval. Requires DOT to retain an easement for right of entry and access for track and structure maintenance and repair, parallel to each side of the retained portion of the corridor and 15 feet in width. Provides for application for conveyance by any person owning an underlying fee simple interest in a portion of the corridor DOT determines is not needed for future transportation or utility purposes, subject to federal law.

    Repeals Section 35.18 of SL 2016-94, which authorizes DOT to lease or convey specified portions of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, formerly the Andrews to Murphy rail line, to the County of Cherokee and the Towns of Andrews and Murphy for public recreation use, as well as mandates revitalization of rail lines for the operation of excursion trains, if applicable.

    Appropriates $100,000 in nonrecurring funds from the Highway Fund to DOT to implement the act. Effective July 1, 2020.


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