St. Louis, I.M. & Southern Ry Co. v. Southern Express,
117 U.S. 1 (1886)

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U.S. Supreme Court

St. Louis, I.M. & Southern Ry Co. v. Southern Express, 117 U.S. 1 (1886)

St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern

Railway v. Southern Express Company

Argued together November 3-6, 8, 1885

Decided March 1, 1886

117 U.S. 1


Railroad companies are not required by usage or by the common law to transport the traffic of independent express companies over their lines in the manner in which such traffic is usually carried and handled.

Page 117 U. S. 2

Railroad companies are not obliged either by the common law or by usage to do more as express carriers than to provide the public at large with reasonable express accommodation, and they need not, in the absence of a statute, furnish to all independent express companies equal facilities for doing an express business upon their passenger trains.

These cases were commenced by defendants in error as plaintiffs below to compel plaintiffs in error to give them respectively the express facilities on the several lines of railway which they had previously enjoyed by contract, and of which they had been dispossessed by notice given in accordance with the terms of the contracts. Judgments below in favor of the express companies, from which the railroad companies appealed. The causes were argued together. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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