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U.S. Supreme Court

Escanaba & Lake Superior R. Co. v. United States, 303 U.S. 315 (1938)

Escanaba & Lake Superior R. Co. v. United States

No. 415

Argued February 4, 7, 1938

Decided February 28, 1938

303 U.S. 315


1. Whether the Interstate Commerce Commission should approve a pooling agreement between competing carriers under § 5(1) of the Interstate Commerce Act is a question of public interest and welfare. Other carriers, as well as shippers and other persons, are entitled to be heard on this question, but a carrier which is not a party to the agreement is not a "carrier involved" within the meaning of the section, even if adversely affected by it, and may not frustrate the agreement by withholding its assent. P. 303 U. S. 319.

2. The "M" railroad carried iron ore from the mines to a lake port, part of the way over its own line and thence to the port over the line of "E" railroad under a trackage agreement. The "N" railroad carried such ore from the mines to the port over its own line. Both "N" and "M" interchanged other freight with "E" at their respective connections with that line. To effect economics, "M" and "N" applied for and obtained from the Interstate Commerce Commission, under § 5(1) of the Interstate Commerce Act, an order sanctioning an agreement between them under which ore consigned over either would be routed over "N," and the ore business be pooled between them, and under which "M" and "N" were also to pool their receipts from other traffic interchanged by chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 303 U. S. 316

either of them with "E." Held that "E" was not a "carrier involved" in the pooling agreement within the meaning of the section above mentioned, and that its assent was not necessary to the Commission's approval. Pp. 303 U. S. 317-322.

"E" was not a carrier of the ore hauled by "M" under the trackage agreement; it received no part of the freight paid; issued no bills of lading, and maintained no tariff for that transportation. It neither held itself out to serve in that respect nor rendered any service to shippers of ore; and, as respects the proposed pooling of freights on the other interchanged traffic, it was not a carrier involved in the service rendered up to the exchange points.

21 F.Supp. 151 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree dismissing a bill to set aside an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

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