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U.S. Supreme Court

Los Angeles Switching Case, 234 U.S. 294 (1914)

The Los Angeles Switching Case*

No. 98

Argued January 14, 15, 1914

Decided June 8, 1914

234 U.S. 294


An order of the Interstate Commerce Commission requiring railway companies to desist from exacting charges for delivering and receiving carload freight to and from industries located upon spurs and sidetracks within the switching limits of a terminal city when such carload freight is moving in interstate commerce incidentally to a system line haul is not open to the objection that it rests upon a construction of the Act to Regulate Commerce which would forbid a carrier from separating its terminal and haulage charges on the same shipment.

Quaere, and not involved in this decision, whether the rate which the Act to Regulate Commerce requires to be published is a complete rate including not only the charge for hauling, but also the charge for the use of terminals at both ends of the line.

Page 234 U. S. 295

The delivery and receipt of goods on an industrial spur-track within the switching limits in a city is not necessarily an added service for which the carrier is entitled to make, or should make, a charge additional to the line-haul rate to and from that city when that rate embraces a receiving and delivery service for which the spur track service is a substitute.

Industrial spur tracks established within the carrier's switching limits, within which the team tracks are also located, may constitute an essential part of the carrier's terminal system, and whether or not delivery on the spur track is an additional service on which to base a charge or merely a substituted service, which is substantially a like service to that included in the line-haul rate and not received, is a question of fact for the Interstate Commerce Commission to determine.

Findings of the Interstate Commerce Commission as to the character and use of industrial spur tracks within the switching limits of a city are conclusions of fact, and not subject to review.

Although the Interstate Commerce Commission may not have found that a switching charge if legal was unreasonable in amount or that the shippers had objected thereto, as the service must be performed according to the law of the land, the shippers are not estopped from bringing the matter before the Commission to the end that the carrier's charges should not be unjustly discriminatory.

It is permissible for a railway company to establish a terminal district, and it is for the Commission to determine, according to the actual conditions of operation, whether an extra charge for spur track delivery within that district, regardless of the variations in distance, is either unreasonable or discriminatory.

This Court cannot substitute its judgment for that of the Interstate Commerce Commission upon matters of fact within the province of the Commission.

The order of the Interstate Commerce Commission that the carriers desist from making a switching charge for carload freight moving in interstate commerce to industrial spur tracks within the switching limits of Los Angeles, California, sustained.

Pursuant to the Act of October 22, 1913, c. 32, judgments of the Commerce Court reversed by this Court are remanded to the District Court of the United States for the district where the case would have been brought had the Commerce Court not been established.

188 F. 229 reversed.

The facts, which involve the validity of an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission in regard to switching

Page 234 U. S. 296

charges within the yard limits of Los Angeles, California are stated in the opinion.

Page 234 U. S. 302

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