Inconsistencies often exist between the definition of a railway boundary as shown on old plans and Certificate(s) of Title (usually a series of straight lines and curves of specified arc lengths, chords and radii) and as defined in a new deposited plan of survey (usually a series of straight lines adopting the railway fence).
The original boundaries of the railway were generally calculated at a set distance from the centreline of the track. However, due to subsequent realignment of the track since the date of original construction, the position of the original boundary may now be lost or uncertain.
When dealing with railway boundaries that do not have current consent from Transport for NSW (or its equivalent), the surveyor should, in the first instance, attempt to define the boundary using existing deposited plans and other plans on public record. This definition must maintain, without excess:
the definition of side boundaries adjoining the railway boundary, and
should be supported by evidence of railway occupations.
Where doubt remains as to the position of a railway boundary, the definition shown in a new deposited plan of survey must have the consent of Transport for NSW. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, the position of the railway fencing should be adopted.
NOTE: The former Government Railways Act 1912 and later Acts confirm ownership by State Rail and its assigns, now being Transport for NSW, of the strip of land between railway fences.
For further information regarding railway boundary definition and consents, see Consents to railway boundaries.
All NSW legislation can be accessed at www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/