The Chevy Chase Land Company (plaintiff) entered into an agreement with a railroad company in 1891 to convey a right-of-way over a one-mile long and 100-foot wide stretch of land. In 1911, the Chevy Chase Land Company executed a deed conveying a free and perpetual right-of-way over the land to the railroad company and its successors and assigns. In 1988, the railroad company conveyed the right-of-way to Montgomery County to construct a hiker/biker trail under the federal Rails-to-Trails Act. The Chevy Chase Land Company sued, alleging that it had conveyed an easement and that the easement was limited to railroad uses. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit certified the question to the Maryland Court of Appeals.