Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry. Co.
279 U.S. 768 (1929)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry. Co., 279 U.S. 768 (1929)

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company v. United States

No. 466

Argued April 11, 1929

Decided June 3, 1929

279 U.S. 768

Syllabus

The plaintiff railroad offered standard rates on wheat over its line from Dodge City to Kansas City, a primary grain market, and from Kansas City to the Gulf, and a through rate from Dodge City via Kansas City to the Gulf which was lower than the sum of the standard rates. Under the practice known as "through rates with transit privilege," owners of wheat which, within a certain period, had been shipped from Dodge City to Kansas City without other destination and for the standard rate between those points, could reship the same or substituted wheat from Kansas City to the Gulf by paying only a "proportional rate" or "balance of the through rate," allowing them a discount equal to the difference between the through rate from Dodge City to the Gulf and the sum of the standard rates. To overcome the competition of a railroad with a line from Kansas City to the Gulf which offered a lower rate from Kansas City to the Gulf on

Page 279 U. S. 769

wheat which had originated in Dodge City, the plaintiff filed a tariff increasing its standard rate from Dodge City to Kansas City applicable only to such wheat as should later be reshipped from Kansas City to the Gulf over the competing line, and it contended that the Interstate Commerce Commission was without power to set aside the increase, though unreasonable and discriminatory, because, by so doing, it compelled the plaintiff to participate in a through route and rate with the competing carrier, and thereby short-haul itself, in disregard of the limitations imposed by paragraph of § 15 of the Interstate Commerce Act on the Commission's power to establish through routes.

Held:

1. That, in ordering cancellation of the proposed increase, the Commission exercised only its function of determining the reasonableness of rates. P. 279 U. S. 776.

2. The Commission's power to declare rates unreasonable applies alike to all rates, be they joint, local, or proportional, and in controversies involving through rates, it may, if it sees fit, deal with one factor only of the combination of rates which make up the through rates. P. 279 U. S. 776.

3. In conferring the restricted power to establish through routes, Congress did not intend to limit the theretofore unrestricted power of the Commission to pass upon the reasonableness of rates. P. 279 U. S. 777.

4. The inbound and outbound movements of the Kansas City grain to which the proportional rate applied were wholly independent and distinct, and the fiction of a "through rate with transit privilege" could not convert them legally into a through movement from Dodge City to the Gulf. P. 279 U. S. 777.

5. There is no rule of law or practice which gives to a carrier the right to recapture traffic which it originated. P. 279 U. S. 780.

6. A finding of the Commission that a rate is unreasonable is binding on this Court when supported by evidence. P. 279 U. S. 781.

7. In a suit to set aside an order of the Commission cancelling a rate proposed by the plaintiff carrier, failure of the Commission to suspend and cancel a rate of a competing carrier is not subject to review. P. 279 U. S. 781.

33 F.2d 345 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of a district court of three judges denying an injunction and dismissing the bill in a suit to set aside an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission cancelling proposed tariffs.

Page 279 U. S. 770

Official Supreme Court caselaw is only found in the print version of the United States Reports. Justia caselaw is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or information linked to from this site. Please check official sources.