Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. United States,
244 U.S. 336 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. United States, 244 U.S. 336 (1917)

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe

Railway Company v. United States

No. 267

Argued May 4, 1917

Decided June 4, 1917

244 U.S. 336


The Hours of Service Act of March 4, 1907, 34 Stat. 1415, is remedial, passed to protect both public and employees from the dangers arising from overwork in railway employment, and should be construed, in effectuation of this purpose, as requiring the carrier to do all reasonably within its power to confine the hours of service within the limits stated.

Page 244 U. S. 337

It was the intention of the proviso in § 3 not to relieve the carrier from a diligent effort to avoid exceeding the limits of service which the act specifies, but only to afford relief in cases where service beyond those limits is necessarily entailed by the causes mentioned in the proviso.

If, as the result of delay due to unavoidable accident, a train crew will not be able to take the train to the terminal of their normal run without serving beyond the limit prescribed by the act, it becomes the carrier's duty to prevent such excessive service by substituting a fresh crew whenever, in the exercise of all reasonable diligence, it is able to do so.

220 F. 748 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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