52 S.E. 941 (N.C. 1905), North Carolina Corp. Commission v. Seaboard Air Line Ry. Co.

Citation:52 S.E. 941, 140 N.C. 239
Opinion Judge:CLARK, C.J.
Party Name:NORTH CAROLINA CORP. COMMISSION v. SEABOARD AIR LINE RY. CO.
Attorney:T. B. Womack and Pou & Fuller, for appellant. H. E. Norris and Seawell & McIver, for appellee.
Case Date:December 12, 1905
Court:Supreme Court of North Carolina
 
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Page 941

52 S.E. 941 (N.C. 1905)

140 N.C. 239

NORTH CAROLINA CORP. COMMISSION

v.

SEABOARD AIR LINE RY. CO.

Supreme Court of North Carolina

December 12, 1905

Appeal from Superior Court, Wake County; Justice, Judge.

Proceeding by the state, on relation of the North Carolina Corporation Commission, on petition of the Round Pine Lumber Company, against the Seaboard Air Line Railway Company. From a judgment affirming the action of the commission, the railway company appeals. Affirmed.

Brown J., dissenting.

Page 942

T. B. Womack and Pou & Fuller, for appellant.

H. E. Norris and Seawell & McIver, for appellee.

CLARK, C.J.

The corporation commission act (Laws 1899, p. 292, c. 164, § 2,) enumerates in 26 subheads the powers conferred upon the corporation commission. Among these, subsection 15 authorizes the commission "to require the construction of side tracks by any railroad company to industries already established or to be established: Provided, it is shown that the proportion of such revenue accruing to such side track is sufficient within five years to pay the expenses of its construction"--and further restricting the power by forbidding the commission to require the construction of any side track more than 500 feet. The power of the General Assembly to establish a commission to supervise and regulate the rates and operations of quasi public corporations exercising public franchises has been too often decided in the state and federal Supreme Courts to be again discussed. The matter has been discussed, with the citation of authorities. R. R. Connection Case, 137 N.C. 14, 49 S.E. 191 et seq.; Corporation Commission v. Railroad (Rate Case) 127 N.C. 283, 37 S.E. 266; Express Co. v. Railroad, 111 N.C. 463, 16 S.E. 393; and in many others, among them, Corporation Commission v. Railroad ("Track Scales Case") 51 S.E. 793, at this term.

As to this special matter, which arises under subhead 15, authorizing the commission to require the establishment of side tracks for the use of industrial plants, there is, in view of the great industrial development of the state, scarcely any power granted to the commission that is of greater importance. Owing to the exigencies of their business, as well as the greater cost of land immediately at railroad stations and in towns, many factories, and especially most lumber plants, are situated at some distance from any passenger and freight station, though usually on the line of some railroad. To require their products, which are usually shipped in car load lots, to be hauled to a distant station, often over bad roads, when the trains perhaps pass in a few yards of the plant, would entail a great and useless...

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