In addition to the powers conferred by Title 13.1, every corporation of this Commonwealth organized to conduct a railroad business shall have the power to acquire by the exercise of the right of eminent domain any lands or estates or interests therein, sand, earth, gravel, water or other material, structures, rights-of-way, easements or other interests in lands, including lands under water and riparian rights, of any person, which are deemed necessary for the purposes of construction, reconstruction, alteration, straightening, relocation, operation, maintenance, improvement or repair of its lines, facilities or works including depots, stations, shops, yards, industrial spurs, switches and sidetracks, terminals or additional tracks or facilities, and for all other necessary railroad purposes and purposes incidental thereto, for its use in serving the public, including permanent, temporary, continuous, periodical or future use, whenever such corporation cannot agree upon the terms of purchase or settlement with any such person because of the incapacity of such person or because of the inability to agree on the compensation to be paid or other terms of settlement or purchase, or because any such person cannot with reasonable diligence be found or is unknown or is a nonresident of the Commonwealth, or is unable to convey valid title to such property. Such proceedings shall be conducted in the manner provided by Chapter 2 (§ 25.1-200 et seq.) of Title 25.1 and shall be subject to the provisions of § 25.1-102. Provided, however, such corporation shall not take by condemnation proceedings a strip of land for its right-of-way within sixty feet of the dwelling house of any person except (a) when the court having jurisdiction of the condemnation proceeding finds, after notice of motion to be granted authority to do so to the owner of such dwelling house, given in the manner provided in §§ 25.1-209, 25.1-210, and 25.1-212, and a hearing thereon, that it would otherwise be impractical, without unreasonable expense, to construct the proposed works of the corporation at another location; or (b) in case of occupancy of the streets or alleys, public or private, of any county, city or town, in pursuance of permission obtained from the board of supervisors of such county or the corporate authorities of such city or town; or (c) in case of occupancy of the highways of this Commonwealth or of any county, in pursuance of permission obtained from the authorities having jurisdiction over such highways.
Code 1919, § 3857; 1920, p. 307; 1944, p. 536; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 3857a; 1956, c. 435; 1962, c. 221; 2003, c. 940.