DENVER & R.G.W. R. CO. V. UNION PACIFIC R. CO., 351 U. S. 321 (1956)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Denver & R.G.W. R. Co. v. Union Pacific R. Co., 351 U.S. 321 (1956)

Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Co. v.

Union Pacific Railroad Co.

Argued April 23-24, 1956

Decided June 11, 1956*

351 U.S. 321


1. After hearings upon complaint of the Rio Grande Railroad, the Interstate Commerce Commission ordered the Union Pacific to establish through routes with the Rio Grande for certain commodities such as fruits, perishable foods, and livestock in a limited geographical area, and to establish joint rates the same as applied on its own and other connecting lines. The Rio Grande, considering itself aggrieved both because of the geographical limitations of the order and because joint rates were not established for all commodities, challenged the order in the Federal District Court in Colorado. The court set aside the order on the ground that there was no substantial evidence to support the Commission's finding that through routes were not in existence.

Held: the Commission's conclusion that the through routes claimed were not in existence was supported by substantial evidence, and it was error for the Colorado District Court to set aside the Commission's finding and to remand the case to the Commission. Pp. 351 U. S. 323-330.

2. The Union Pacific, considering itself aggrieved because the Commission's order required establishment of some through routes and joint rates, challenged the order in the Federal District Court in Nebraska. That court sustained the order of the Commission with reference to shipments which required certain transit services on the Rio Grande, but refused to sustain the order with reference to shipments not requiring such transit services.

Held: the judgment of the Nebraska District Court is affirmed insofar as it

Page 351 U. S. 322

affirmed the order of the Commission, and is reversed insofar as it refused to enforce the Commission's order. Pp. 351 U. S. 330-335.

(a) The Commission cannot be deemed to have acted in excess of its authority in concluding, on the evidence before it, that through routes and joint rates on the specified commodities were needed to provide adequate and more economic transportation, and were necessary in the public interest. Pp. 351 U. S. 330-333.

(b) The Nebraska District Court erred in cutting down the scope of the Commission's order insofar as it established through routes and joint rates on shipments that did not require certain transit services on the Rio Grande. Pp. 351 U. S. 333-334.

(c) A shipper's privilege to have his goods reconsigned at joint rates should be considered on the same basis as transit services in determining the adequacy and economy of existing transportation. P. 351 U. S. 334.

(d) The Commission's order was justified under §§ 15(1), 15(3), and 15(4) of the Interstate Commerce Act, and the Nebraska District Court should have sustained the order in full. Pp. 351 U. S. 334-335.

131 F.Supp. 372, reversed.

132 F.Supp. 72, affirmed in part and reversed in part.

Page 351 U. S. 323

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