United States v. Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee R. Co.,
288 U.S. 1 (1933)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee R. Co., 288 U.S. 1 (1933)

United States v. Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad Co.,

No. 264

Argued December 16, 1932

Decided January 9, 1933

288 U.S. 1


1. An independent electric railroad, built and equipped primarily for interurban and suburban passenger service, and whose traffic is mainly of that character, but which interchanges passengers and freight with steam railroads and competes with them, the freight business being, however, subsidiary in amount and function and not fairly comparable to the ordinary freight business of a standard steam railroad, held an "interurban electric railway" within the meaning of § 20a of the Interstate Commerce Act, and therefore excepted, by par. 1 of that section, from the necessity of obtaining authority from the Commission before issuing bonds. P. 288 U. S. 10.

2. In so holding, the Court assumes the question to be doubtful, but decides that the status of the carrier as an "interurban electric railway" is settled by the uniform construction of § 20a applied to it by the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Commission having for many years resolved doubt in favor of the carrier and the carrier having issued large amounts of bonds in reliance upon this administrative construction, and without any objection from the Commission. P. 288 U. S. 13.


Appeal from a decree dismissing a bill filed by the United States praying that the railroad company be enjoined from issuing securities or assuming obligations without authority from the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Page 288 U. S. 6

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