Michigan Central R. Co. v. Michigan R. Comm'n,
236 U.S. 615 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Michigan Central R. Co. v. Michigan R. Comm'n, 236 U.S. 615 (1915)

Michigan Central Railroad Company

v. Michigan Railroad Commission

No. 91

Submitted December 1, 1914

Decided March 8, 1915

236 U.S. 615


A state, in virtue of its authority to regulate railroads as public highways, may, in a proper case, require two railroad companies to make a connection between their tracks so as to facilitate interchange of traffic, without violating rights of the company secured by the federal Constitution. Wisconsin R. Co. v. Jacobson, 179 U. S. 287.

A state, acting within its jurisdiction and not in hostility to any federal regulation of interstate commerce, may compel a carrier to accept loaded cars from another line and transport them over its own. Chi., Mil. & St.P. Ry. v. Iowa, 233 U. S. 344.

A state may, on reasonable conditions, require a carrier to permit its empty or loaded cars to be hauled from its line upon a connecting line for purposes of loading or delivery of intrastate freight and to permit cars of other carriers loaded with such freight consigned to points on the connecting line to be hauled from its line upon the connecting line for purposes of delivery.

The common law is subject to change by legislation, and so held that a state may require a carrier, within reasonable bounds of regulation in the public interest, to permit its equipment to be hauled off its line by other carriers, although it was not bound to permit the same at common law.

It is a matter of common knowledge that interchange of freight cars between carriers is the usual practice, and a state statute requiring such interchange as to intrastate commerce is not so unreasonable as to amount to a taking of property without due process of law.

An order of a state railroad commission requiring carriers to interchange freight cars for intrastate freight is to be read in the light of the opinion delivered by the Commission, and, as so read, the order involved in this case is not unreasonable, nor does it take the property of the carriers without due process of law.

An order of a state railroad commission requiring carriers to exchange freight and passengers in accordance with the provisions of the act establishing the Commission, which has been construed by the state court as relating only to intrastate commerce, because the jurisdiction of the Commission is limited thereto, held not to disregard the needs of interstate commerce or to be a burden thereon, and also held

Page 236 U. S. 616

this Court presumes, until the contrary appears, that the state court will not so construe or enforce the order as to interfere with or obstruct interstate commerce.

An order of the Michigan state Railroad Commission requiring two connecting railroads to make physical connection for transfer of intrastate business, including loaded freight car and empty cars being returned or forwarded for being loaded, held within the power of the state, and not to a taking of the property of the carriers without due process of law or an interference with and regulation of interstate commerce. Central Stock Yards v. Louis. & Nash. R. Co., 192 U. S. 568, and Louis. & Nash. R. Co. v. Stock Yards, 212 U. S. 132, distinguished.

18 Mich. 230 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the validity of an order of the State Railway Commission of Michigan requiring a railway with respect to intrastate traffic to interchange cars, freight, and passengers with another railway, are stated in the opinion.

Page 236 U. S. 620

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