Missouri, Kansas & Texas Ry. Co. v. Texas,
245 U.S. 484 (1918)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Missouri, Kansas & Texas Ry. Co. v. Texas, 245 U.S. 484 (1918)

Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company v. Texas

No. 113

Submitted January 2, 1918

Decided January 14, 1918

245 U.S. 484


Where, in regular course, a passenger train is moved by one company from one state to a point in another and is there taken charge of and carried to destination by a second company, local to the second state, it is manifestly erroneous to hold that its interstate character is lost because the second company employs new crews and engines and cannot go beyond the state line.

An order of the Texas Railroad Commission requiring passenger trains in the state to leave stations on advertised schedule time, and allowing them no more than 30 minutes at origin or points of junction to make connection with trains of other lines, or 10 minute more if at the end of the 30 minutes the connecting trains are in sight, is an unjustifiable interference with interstate commerce as applied to a local railroad company in respect of an interstate train which, under contract, the company receives at a point within the state line from a connecting company, and forwards (in sections) to its destinations within the state. The infliction of penalties upon the local corporation, under the local law, for failure to comply with the order is beyond the power of the state courts in such a case. So held where, though the trial court found otherwise, the decisions of the intermediate and supreme courts of the state assumed that there was sufficient accommodation for local traffic independent of the through train in question -- an assumption which this Court adopts, and where the train was received too late to comply.

The suggestion that the order could have been complied with by running an extra train locally, if the interstate train was not on time, is impractical, and also inadequate in form, since, having exercised its right to advertise the latter train, the company could not escape liability for delay of that train by operating another.

The powers of a state over the local business of a local railroad company do not authorize the imposition of serious, unwarranted and unjust burdens in respect of its interstate trains.

167 S.W. 822 reversed.

Page 245 U. S. 485

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 245 U. S. 487

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