Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. United States
225 U.S. 640 (1912)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. United States, 225 U.S. 640 (1912)

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. United States

No. 716

Argued April 30, 1912

Decided June 7, 1912

225 U.S. 640

Syllabus

Public policy requires that the mail be carried subject to postal regulations, and that the department, and not the railroad, shall, in the absence of contract, determine what service is needed and the conditions under which it hall be performed.

A railroad company, not required so to do by its charter, is not bound to furnish postal cars of the kind demanded or to accept terms named by the Postmaster General, but if it does carry the mail, it does so as an agency of the government, and subject to the laws and the regulations of the Department.

A railroad company cannot, by using a larger railway postal car than that authorized by the department, recover the greater value of the car.

The Postmaster General can establish full railway postal lines, and, as the greater includes the less, he can also establish half-lines; he can abolish between two points a full line in one direction and a half line in the other.

The facts, which involve claims made by a railroad company for furnishing railway post office cars to the government, are stated in the opinion.

Page 225 U. S. 646

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