American Railway Development Association


October 2015
Law Section Feature
A Deed for Right-Of-Way, or a Right-Of-Way deed?
By David Drach, Vice Chair of ARDA Law Section

Sometimes even the simplest statements can generate vastly different interpretations. That was the case concerning deeds to several tracts of railroad right of way in North Dakota. The question at the root of the dispute was whether the deeds were intended to convey title to the land which the railroad intended to use for right of way, or if the deeds conveyed right of way over the land, which was, in effect, a conveyance of an easement.

No one spends the time, effort and expense to litigate the nuances of railroad deeds in the far reaches of western North Dakota without reasons above and beyond academic curiosity. For a railroad, the two most common motivations to litigate over title are preservation and regulation of operational rights or supporting facilities, and money. In this case, the motivation was revenue from the production of oil in the Bakken formation in western North Dakota. Soo Line Railroad Company ("Soo Line") entered into a number of oil and gas leases for the exploration and production on tracts that included its property. Oil production is regulated to operable units that frequently encompass one or two Public Land Survey sections of land. Soo Line's interest within an operable unit is typically comprised of its right of way which amounts to less than 2% of a section.

Register for the ARDA 2016 Executive Forum!
The 2016 Executive Forum will take place from 12pm Tuesday January 26  to 12pm Wednesday January 27, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Miami

We are looking forward to an Executive Forum program featuring speakers on topics relating to our annual theme of "Going Global." For more information please visit our event page at

Registration is now open! To register for the Executive Forum please follow this link. We have also secured a room block for attendees at a discounted rate of $209 per night at the Hyatt Regency Miami. To book a room please use this link, or call central reservations at 1-888-421-1442 and refer to the ARDA Executive Forum to receive the discounted rate.


2015-16 Membership Renewals

ARDA members, it is once again time to renew your membership. To do this please visit our website at and log-in at the top right corner of the page. 

Your renewed membership allows ARDA to continue fostering the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North American railroads through the advancement of ideas and education of its members. 

If you are not an ARDA member and would like to join, please visit our registration page.


ARDA Sponsorship Opportunities

For over 100 years, the American Railway Development Association has helped foster economic development, real estate, law, technology and environmental activities of North American railroads. ARDA's seminars and workshops provide railroad professionals with quality information and industry discussion of the current issues facing railroad development. A balance of programs and interests has been the norm covering environmental, industrial development, business development, real estate, technology and law issues. ARDA would not have survived this long without our friends and sponsors supporting the organization's efforts.


ARDA offers sponsorship opportunities either on an annual basis or at one of our events. To sponsor ARDA please complete this form, or visit our sponsorship page for more information.  


Save the Date for the 2016 Annual Meeting!

The 2016 Annual Meeting will be held in Las Vegas, NV at the Renaissance Las Vegas hotel from July 24-27, 2016. Registration will open in Spring 2016, but save the date today!
For more information, visit the ARDA website or contact: 

ARDA staff at
The American Railway Development Association (ARDA) is a not-for-profit educational trade association founded in 1906 to promote Economic Development, Real Estate Development, Technology, and Environmental Activities of the North American Railroads. 
The objectives of the Association are to foster the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North American railroads; and through the advancement of ideas and education of its members, further promote the effectiveness of railway development and related work.
Law Section Feature
2016 Executive Forum
Membership Renewals
New Officers
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CIG Logistics acquires rail facility in Odessa, TX

CP acquires Steelcare Inc.

Twin Eagle breaks ground Permian Rail Park project

Cenovus Acquires Crude-oil Transloading Facility in Alberta

Saddle Creek Breaks Ground on New Chicago Logistics Center
Thank You ARDA 2014 - 2015 Sponsors

Kansas City Southern


Bartlett & West
Norfolk Southern Corp.


Clear Channel Outdoor
GEI Consultants


Florida East Coast Railway
Green Group Holdings
Herzog Contracting Corp.
LJA Engineering, Inc.
Omega Rail Management
ProSource Technologies

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New Members since August
Jed Franzen
Director of Right of Way
Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP

Bradley Gordon
Manager, Real Estate
Patriot Rail Company LLC

Mike Grim
Industrial Development Manager
Norfolk Southern Corporation

Kari Harris
Manager, Environmental Impact (US)

Angie Morrow
Senior Project Scientist

Gordon Strout
Sr. Project Manager

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