There are currently 3,931 miles of railroad track in Iowa, and, according to the 2012 Census, 30,622,731 acres of farmland in Iowa. With farmland making up over 85% of Iowa’s land, it is inevitable that railroads will run through farmland. In most instances, the railroad right-of-way belongs to the railroad company while the adjacent farmland is owned by other persons or entities including family farmers.
If a railroad right-of-way runs through your property, it is important to review your deed for provisions concerning the railroad right-of-way. Unless set forth in the deed, other recorded document, or in a statute, the railroad company does not have greater rights than any other person to enter upon your farmland, pass over it, or use it.