This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
A right of way is primarily a privilege to pass over another's land. Such a right never exists as a natural right, but must always be created by a grant or its equivalent. A right of way may be either public or private, - that is, it may be a right of passage of which every individual may avail himself, or it may exist for the benefit of one individual or class of individuals. Public rights of way are not, properly speaking, easements, though they are frequently referred to as such, and they will be more particularly discussed in another connection.82 Private rights of way, which constitute one of the most important classes of easements, will be hereafter discussed in connection
79. Powell v. Salisbury, 2 Younge & J. 391; Cate v. Cate, 50 N. H. 144, 9 Am. Rep. 179; Saxton v. Bacon, 31 Vt. 540; 1 Stimson's Am. St. Law, Sec. 2189 (B).
80. D'arcy v. Miller, 86 111. 102, 29 Am. Rep. 11; Baynes v. Chas-tain, 68 Ind. 376'; Barrett v. Dolan, 71 Iowa, 94, 32 N. W. 189. Tonawanda R. Co. v. Munger, 5 Denio (N. Y.) 255, 49 Am. Dec.
239; Rangier v. Mccreight, 27 Pa. St. 95 Roach v. Lawrence, 56 Wis. 478, 14 N. W. 595.
81. Lord v. Wormwood, 29 Me. 282, 50 Am. Dec. 586; Rust v. Low, 6 Mass. 90; Lyons v. Merrick. 105 Mass. 71 ; Lawrence v. Combs, 37 N. II. 331, 72 Am. Dec. 332; Chapin v. Sullivan R. Co., 39 N. H. 53,75 Am. Dec. 207.
82. Post, Sec. 417.
1250 Real. Property. [Sec. 359 with the acquisition, user, and extinguishment of easements.83
A railroad right of way, so called, is frequently more than a mere right of way, it being a strip of land actually owned by the railroad company, on which the tracks are located. In so far as the railroad company has merely an easement of a right of way, that is, the privilege of having its trains pass over another's laud, it is necessarily an easement in gross and not an easement appurtenant.83a
Frequently a right of way exists, not directly over the soil of another's land, but over a hallway, passage way or stairway in a building on another's land.83b Such a right of way frequently exists by reason of the leasing of individual rooms or suites in a building, the owner of the building retaining control of the hallways and stairways, subject, however, to a right of way over such hallways and stairways, in favor of each lessee of a room or suite.83c