Grand Trunk Western Ry. Co. v. Railroad Comm'n
221 U.S. 400 (1911)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Grand Trunk Western Ry. Co. v. Railroad Comm'n, 221 U.S. 400 (1911)

Grand Trunk Western Railway Company

v. Railroad Commission of Indiana

No. 138

Submitted April 19, 1911

Decided May 15, 1911

221 U.S. 400


A legislative act by an instrumentality of the state exercising delegated authority is of the same force as if made by the legislature, and is a law of the state within the meaning of the contract clause of the Constitution.

A contract cannot be impaired, within the meaning of the contract clause of the Constitution, by a law which relates to matters beyond

Page 221 U. S. 401

the scope of the contract as construed according to the usual meaning of the words used.

A contract between two railroads for maintaining the physical cost of a crossing and guarding it by good and substantial semiphores or other signals is not impaired by a subsequent act requiring an interlocking system and apportioning the expense in a different manner than provided in the contract. The contract did not embrace such a system.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of an order of the Railroad Commission of Indiana directing installation and use of interlocking plant at a railroad crossing and apportioning the expense of executing the order, are stated in the opinion.

Page 221 U. S. 402

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