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A recent question Walking through an active railway tunnel during a long distance walk brought up the topic of pedestrian access on train-track right of ways. In many areas of the world train tracks are private property (belonging to the railroad) and traveling on the tracks without being on a train, is a criminal offense.

Where it is legal to travel on train right of ways, without being a passenger on the train?

In all cases, working railways are a dangerous place to be. This question is only about the legality of the act, not the safety issue.

  • I find the question interesting, but... Are you expecting a long list of countries and maybe state laws within those countries? If so, may I suggest you add a first answer and make it community wiki? – Roflo Oct 30 '15 at 19:10
  • May be obvious, but the original question's poster lives in Pune, India, and he doesn't seem to be worried about the legality. What scale do you want answers in" Country, City, or GPS coordinates of such a tunnel? – JPhi Oct 30 '15 at 19:24
  • I would expect that there are only a few countries where it is legal, or at least not illegal to travel on railways as a pedestrian. – James Jenkins Oct 30 '15 at 22:10
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I was searching in relation to this question and found the following which I thought was interesting. It seems to be common to walk along these tracks, but I don't know what the legality of it is.

Dudhsagar Falls (switch between "Map" and "Earth" views to see where the tracks are if you need help)

Here's an article about an adventure a group of people had:

Goa beyond beaches

I just found another site (again, not a legal resource) that actually has a section devoted to walking on bridges and through tunnels:

Indian Railways Fan Club

The Times of India even has an article tag for it:

Trekking-on-rail-tracks

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I'll answer about India, and Indian Railways.

While in India, you can't call it legally approved to be okay to walk on railway tracks. I'd say the way things are taken is depending upon where you are. Officially, trespassing any of the Railway property without being a passenger on a train or an authorized person to be there is illegal.

Its quite unfortunate to say, but with Indian Railways the things aren't so straight, There are Gray shades between how Law and Order are maintained in Indian Railways. For example, a plastic garbage collecting guy who is not an employee of Indian Railways is allowed to walk through and along the tracks to pick up plastic waste, mostly water bottle which are recycled. (Why such a job is needed is a question worth not wasting any time here), Whereas a Railway Gang-man, an employee of the Indian Railway is supposed to be walking on railway tracks to ensure the track are intact and safe. Its his job.

I have walked on tracks over longer distances because there isn't any alternative to it unless I was ready to walk twice the distance. During that walk I came across a couple of Railway sub-section offices, traction centers and a few Railways officials too. They looked perfectly okay with me walking along the track, but it doesn't mean it is legal to do so.

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