Well, I think that's WHY sometimes the rails are left in place -- because nobody really knows who owns them. If somebody isn't paying taxes on the land, then the county will take possession, and then they'll own it. Or if the property was an easement, it reverts to the previous property owner. But the rails ON the land? If a company went bankrupt, they belong to the company's creditors. But what if the company's assets were wound down, the rails forgotten, and the company dissolved? Technically, they still belong to the company's creditors, but I'm sure that there's a provision in the law for abandoned property to go to some governmental entity, which then tries to find the owner, and if no owner can be found, they're sold by the government and the money is put into the general fund. I know that it works that way for abandoned funds in a bank.