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INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT
THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT
Being the Act to Regulate Commerce as Amended.
(The Interstate Commerce act, comprising: An act to regulate commerce, approved February 4, 1887, and in e
April 5, 1887 (24 Statutes at Large, 379), as amended by an act approved March 2, 1889 (25 Statutes at L 855), by an act approved February 10, 1891 (26 Statutes at Large, 743), by an act approved Februai 1895 (28 Statutes at Large, 643), by an act approved June 29, 1906 (34 Statutes at Large, 584), by a ; resolution approved June 30, 1906 (34 Statutes at Large, 838), by an act approved April 13, 1908 (35 Stat at Large, 60), by an act approved February 25, 1909 (35 Statutes at Large, 648), by an act approved . 18, 1910 (36 Statutes at Large, 539), by an act approved August 24, 1912 (37 Statutes at Large, 566), b; act approved March 1, 1913 (37 Statutes at Large, 701), by an act approved March 4, 1915 (38 Statute Large, 1196), by an act approved August 9, 1916 (39 Statutes at Large, 441), by an act approved August 29, (39 Statutes at Large, 538), by an act approved August 29, 1916 (39 Statutes at Large, 619), by an approved February 17, 1917 (39 Statutes at Large, 922), by an act approved March 2, 1917 (39 Statute Large, 951), by an act approved May 29, 1917 (40 Statutes at Large, 101), by an act approved Augu 1917 (40 Statutes at Large, 270), by an act approved August 10, 1917 (40 Statutes at Large, 272), by ar approved February 28, 1920 (41 Statutes at Large, 456), by an act approved June 7, 1922 (42 Statutes at L 624), and by an act approved August 18, 1922 (42 Statutes at Large, 827).]
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress sembled,
41 Stat. L., 474.
Sec. 1. [As amended June 29, 1906, April 13, 1908, June 18, 1910, February 17, 1917, M Act applies to 2, 1917, May 29, 1917, August 10, 1917, and February 28, 1920.] engaged in
(1) That the provisions of this Act shall apply to common carriers engaged in-transportation (a) The transportation of passengers or property wholly by railroad or partly by rail by railroad 'and and partly by water when both are used under a common control, management, or arrangei
for a continuous carriage or shipment; or -transportation
(b) The transportation of oil or other commodity, except water and except natural or by pipe line.
ficial gas, by pipe line, or partly by pipe line and partly by railroad or by water; or -transmission of intelligence.
(c) The transmission of intelligence by wire or wireless;-between what points Act ap
from one State or Territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, to any other plies within or Territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, or from one place in a Territoi -transportation another place in the sime Territory, or from any place in the United States through a foi or transmission from,
country to any other place in the United States, or from or to any place in the United States 1 through foreign from a foreign country, but only in so far as such transportation or transmission takes place w .
the United States. Act applies to transportation (2) The provisions of this Act shall also apply to such transportation of passengers
I or transmission erty and transmission of intelligence, but only in so far as such transportation or transmi:
United States. takes place within the United States but shall not apply-inapplicable to (a) To the transportation of passengers or property, or to the receiving, delivering, stoi
intrastate trang- or handling of property, wholly within one State and not shipped to or from a foreign country i portation.
or to any place in the United States as aforesaid; inapplicable intrastate
(b) To the transmission of intelligence by wire or wireless wholly within one State and transmission.
transmitted to or from a foreign country from or to any place in the United States as aforesai -inapplicable to water transpor
(c) To the transportation of passengers or property by a carrier by water where such ti tation merely portation would not be subject to the provisions of this Act except for the fact that such ca charges ab- absorbs, out of its port-to-port water rates or out of its proportional through rates, any switcl sorbed by water
terminal, lighterage, car rental, trackage, handling, or other charges by a rail carrier for ser
within the switching, drayage, lighterage, or corporate limits of a port terminal or district. What included
(3) The term “common carrier” as used in this Act shall include all pipe-line companies; mon carrier. graph, telephone, and cable companies operating by wire or wireless; express companies; sleer
car companies; and all persons, natural or artificial, engaged in such transportation or transmis “Carrier" means 'common carrier."
as aforesaid as common carriers for hire. Wherever the word "carrier" is used in this Act it:
be held to mean “common carrier.” The term "railroad” as used in this Act shall include What included bridges, car floats, lighters and ferries used by or operated in connection with any railroad, in
also all the road in use by any common carrier operating a railroad, whether owned or oper
INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT
Common carrier duties; to pro
routes. Divisions to be
under a contract, agreement, or lease, and also all switches, spurs, tracks, terminals, and terminal facilities of every kind used or necessary in the transportation of the persons or property designated
herein, including all freight depots, yards, and grounds, used or necessary in the transportation or What included delivery of any such property. The term “transportation" as used in this Act shall include locoportation." motives, cars, and other vehicles, vessels, and all instrumentalities and facilities of shipments or
carriage, irrespective of ownership or of any contract, express or implied, for the use thereof, and
all services in connection with the receipt, delivery, elevation, and transfer in transit, ventilation, What included refrigeration or icing, storage, and handling of property transported. The term "transmission” as
used in this Act shall include the transmission of intelligence through the application of electrical energy or other use of electricity, whether by means of wire, cable, radio apparatus, or other wire or wireless conductors or appliances, and all instrumentalities and facilities for and services
in connection with the receipt, forwarding, and delivery of messages, communications, or other "Messages" de
intelligence so transmitted, hereinafter also collectively called messages.
(4) It shall be the duty of every common carrier subject to this Act engaged in the transporvide and furnish tation of passengers or property to provide and furnish such transportation upon reasonable request
Through routes therefor, and to establish through routes and just and reasonable rates, fares, and charges applicand just and able thereto, and to provide reasonable facilities for operating through routes and to make rea
Facilities and sonable rules and regulations with respect to the operation of through routes, and providing for rules for through
reasonable compensation to those entitled thereto; and in case of joint rates, fares, or charges, to reasonable,
establish just, reasonable, and equitable divisions thereof as between the carriers subject to this unduly preferen- Act participating therein which shall not unduly prefer or prejudice any of such participating carriers.
(5) All charges made for any service rendered or to be rendered in the transportation of passTransportation engers or property or in the transmission of intelligence by wire or wireless as aforesaid, or in charges to be just connection therewith, shall be just and reasonable, and every unjust and unreasonable charge for and reasonable. Classification of
such service or any part thereof is prohibited and declared to be unlawful: Provided, That messmessages, different ages by wire or wireless subject to the provisions of this Act may be classified into day, night,
repeated, unrepeated, letter, commercial, press, Government, and such other classes as are just
and reasonable, and different rates may be charged for the different classes of messages: And Contracts for provided further, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent telephone, telegraph, and exchange of
ser- cable companies from entering into contracts with common carriers for the exchange of services.
(6) It is hereby made the duty of all common carriers subject to the provisions of this Act to Just and reason- establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable classifications of property for transportation, able classification of property
for with reference to which ra tariffs, regulations, or actices are or may be made or prescribed, transportation re- and just and reasonable regulations and practices affecting classifications, rates, or tariffs, the
Just and reason- issuance, form, and substance of tickets, receipts, and bills of lading, the manner and method of able
regulations presenting, marking, packing, and delivering property for transportation, the facilities for transand practices required.
portation, the carrying of personal, sample, and excess baggage, and all other matters relating to or connected with the receiving, handling, transporting, storing, and delivery of property subject to the provisions of this Act which may be necessary or proper to secure the safe and prompt receipt, handling, transportation, and delivery of property subject to the provisions of this Act upon just and reasonable terms, and every unjust and unreasonable classification, regulation,
and practice is prohibited and declared to be unlawful. 34 Stat. L., 584.
(7) No common carrier subject to the provisions of this Act shall, after January first, nineFree passes and free transportation
teen hundred and seven, directly or indirectly, issue or give any interstate free ticket, free pass, prohibited.
or free transportation for passengers, except to its employees and their families, its officers, agents, Excepted classes.
surgeons, physicians, and attorneys at law; to ministers of religion, traveling secretaries of railroad Young Men's Christian Associations, inmates of hospitals and charitable and eleemosynary institutions, and persons exclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosynary work; to indigent, destitute, and homeless persons, and to such persons when transported by charitable societies or hospitals, and the necessary agents employed in such transportation; to inmates of the National Homes or State Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, and of Soldiers' and Sailors' Homes, including those about to enter and those returning home after discharge; to necessary caretakers of live stock, poultry, milk, and fruit; to employees on sleeping cars, express cars, and to linemen of telegraph and telephone companies; to Railway Mail Service employees, post-office inspectors, customs inspectors, and immigration inspectors; to newsboys on trains, baggage agents, witnesses
attending any legal investigation in which the common carrier is interested, persons injured in Interchange of
wrecks and physicians and nurses attending such persons: Provided, That this provision shall not
be construed to prohibit the interchange of passes for the officers, agents, and employees of comFree carriers of passengers in case
mon carriers, and their families; nor to prohibit any common carrier from carrying passengers free of calamity. with the object of providing relief in cases of general epidemic, pestilence, or other calamitous
36 Stat. L., 539.
See Section 15 (3) (6).
INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT
visitation: And provided further, That this provision shall not be construed to prohibit the privilege Exchange
hief of passes or franks, or the exchange thereof with each other, for the officers, agents, employees, and passes or franks
trans- their families of such telegraph, telephone, and cable lines, and the officers, agents, employees and mission and other
their families of other common carriers subject to the provisions of this Act: Provided further, 35 Stat. L., 60.
That the term "employees” as used in this paragraph shall include furloughed, pensioned, and employees" and superannuated employees, persons who have become disabled or infirm in the service of any such "families" include.
common carrier, and the remains of a person killed in the employment of a carrier, and ex-employees traveling for the purpose of entering the service of any such common carrier; and the term “families” as used in this paragraph shall include the families of those persons named in this proviso, also the families of persons killed, and the widows during widowhood and minor children during minority of persons who died, while in the service of any such common carrier. Any common carrier vio
lating this provision shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and for each offense, on conviction Penalty. shall pay to the United States a penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two 34 Stat. L., 584. thousand dollars, and any person, other than the persons excepted in this provision, who uses any
such interstate free ticket, free pass, or free transportation shall be subject to a like penalty. Jurisdiction of Jurisdiction of offenses under this provision shall be the same as that provided for offenses in an offenses hereunder.
Act entitled "An Act to further regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the States,"
approved February nineteenth, nineteen hundred and three, and any amendment thereof. 34 Stat. L., 584. Commodities
(8) From and after May first, nineteen hundred and eight, it shall be unlawful for any railClause.
road company to transport from any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, to any other by railroad of cer- State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, or to any foreign country, any article or commodity, tain commodities other than timber and the manufactured products thereof, manufactured, mined, or produced by it, prohibited.
or under its authority, or which it may own in whole or in part, or in which it may have any interest, direct or indirect, except such articles or commodities as may be necessary and intended for its use
in the conduct of its business as a common carrier. Exception.
(9) Any common carrier subject to the provisions of this Act, upon application of any lateral Carriers
' duty to branch line of railroad, or of any shipper tendering interstate traffic for transportation, shall conoperate switch struct, maintain, and operate upon reasonable terms a switch connection with any such lateral 34 Stat. L., 584. branch line of railroad, or private side track which may be constructed to connect with its railroad,
where such connection is reasonably practicable and can be put in with safety and will furnish sufficient business to justify the construction and maintenance of the same; and shall furnish cars for the movement of such traffic to the best of its ability without discrimination in favor of or against such shipper. If any common carrier shall fail to install and operate any such switch or
connection as aforesaid, on application therefor in writing by any shipper or owner of such lateral 36 Stat. L., 539. branch line of railroad, such shipper or owner of such lateral branch line of railroad may make
complaint to the Commission, as provided in section thirteen of this Act, and the Commission 34 Stat. L. 584shall hear and investigate the same and shall determine as to the safety and practicability thereof may order switch and justification and reasonable compensation therefor, and the Commission may make an order, conneotions.
as provided in section fifteen of this Act, directing the common carrier to comply with the pro
visions of this section in accordance with such order, and such order shall be enforced as hereinafter Derforcement of provided for the enforcement of all other orders by the Commission, other than orders for the order.
payment of money. 41 Stat. L., 476.
(10) The term “car service” in this Act shall include the use, control, supply, movement, 40 Stat. L. 101, distribution, exchange, interchange, and return of locomotives, cars, and other vehicles used in the
'car ser- transportation of property, including special types of equipment, and the supply of trains, by any vice."
carrier by railroad subject to this Act. 41 Stat. L., 476.
(11) It shall be the duty of every carrier by railroad subject to this Act to furnish safe and Character required car
adequate car service and to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable rules, regulations, vice, and rules and and practices with respect to car service; and every unjust and unreasonable rule, regulation, and practices.
practice with respect to car service is prohibited and declared to be unlawful. Just and reason- (12) It shall also be the duty of every carrier by railroad to make just and reasonable distribution able distribution of coal cars required. of cars for transportation of coal among the coal mines served by it, whether located upon its line
Ratings of mines or lines or customarily dependent upon it for car supply. During any period when the supply of during car short
cars available for such service does not equal the requirements of such mines it shall be the duty of the carrier to maintain and apply just and reasonable ratings of such mines and to count each
and every car furnished to or used by any such mine for transportation of coal against the mine. Penalty.
Failure or refusal so to do shall be unlawful and in respect of each car not so counted shall be deemed
INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT
a separate offense, and the carrier, receiver, or operating trustee so failing or refusing shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $100 for each offense, which may be recovered in a civil action
brought by the United States. Commission may require filing (13) The Commission is hereby authorized by general or special orders to require all carriers of car service rules by railroad subject to this Act, or any of them, to file with it from time to time their rules and
Incorporation in regulations with respect to car service, and the Commission may, in its discretion, direct that such schedules; subject rules and regulations shall be incorporated in their schedules showing rates, fares and charges for
transportation, and be subject to any or all of the provisions of this Act relating thereto. Commission establish
(14) The Commission may, after hearing, on a complaint or upon its own initiative without rules, regulations, complaint, establish reasonable rules, regulations and practices with respect to car service by
Compensation carriers by railroad subject to this Act, including the compensation to be paid for the use of any and penalties.
locomotive, car, or other vehicle not owned by the carrier using it, and the penalties or other
sanctions for nonobservance of such rules, regulations, or practices. Power of Com
(15) Whenever the Commission is of opinion that shortage of equipment, congestion of emergency exists. traffic, or other emergency requiring immediate action exists in any section of the country, the
Commission shall have, and it is hereby given, authority, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint, at once, if it so orders, without answer or other formal pleading by
the interested carrier or carriers, and with or without notice, hearing, or the making or filing of a established rules. report, according as the Commission may determine: (a) to suspend the operation of any or all
rules, regulations, or practices then established with respect to car service for such time as may
as to car service: afima- be determined by the Commission: (b) to make such just and reasonable directions with respect tion of compensa- to car service without regard to the ownership as between carriers of locomotives, cars, and other
vehicles, during such emergency as in its opinion will best promote the service in the interest of the public and the commerce of the people, upon such terms of compensation as between the carriers
as they may agree upon, or, in the event of their disagreement, as the Commission may after -requirement of joint or common subsequent hearing find to be just and reasonable; (c) to require such joint or common use of use of terminals.
Power of Com- terminals, including main-line track or tracks for a reasonable distance outside of such terminals, mission.
as in its opinion will best meet the emergency and serve the public interest, and upon such terms --prescription of
as between the carriers as they may agree upon, or, in the event of their disagreement, as the --preference, pri- Commission may after subsequent hearing find to be just and reasonable; and (d) to give direcority embargoes: tions for preference or priority in transportation, embargoes, or movement of traffic under permits, under permit. at such time and for such periods as it may determine, and to modify, change, suspend, or annul
them. In time of war or threatened war the President may certify to the Commission that it is
essential to the national defense and security that certain traffic shall have preference or priority priority, upon in transportation, and the Commission shall, under the power herein conferred, direct that such
of President. preference or priority be afforded.
Routing of (16) Whenever the Commission is of opinion that any carrier by railroad subject to this traffic.
Act is for any reason unable to transport the traffic offered it so as properly to serve the public, it may, upon the same procedure as provided in paragraph (15), make such just and reasonable directions with respect to the handling, routing, and movement of the traffic of such carrier and its
distribution over other lines of roads, as in the opinion of the Commission will best promote the Fisation of service in the interest of the public and the commerce of the people, and upon such terms as beriers disagree. tween the carriers as they may agree upon, or, in the event of their disagreement, as the Com
mission may after subsequent hearing find to be just and reasonable. Commission's
(17) The directions of the Commission as to car service and to the matters referred to in directions given through agencies. paragraphs (15) and (16) may be made through and by such agents or agencies as the Commission carriers required. shall designate and appoint for that purpose. It shall be the duty of all carriers by railroad sub
ject to this Act, and of their officers, agents, and employees, to obey strictly and conform promptly
to such orders or directions of the Commission, and in case of failure or refusal on the part of Penalty.
any carrier, receiver, or operating trustee to comply with any such order or direction, such carrier, receiver, or trustee shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each such offense and $50 for each and every day of the continuance of such offense, which shall accrue
to the United States and may be recovered in a civil action brought by the United States: ProPreservation of vided, however, That nothing in this Act shall impair or affect the right of a State, in the exercise
of its police power, to require just and reasonable freight and passenger service for intrastate business, except in so far as such requirement is inconsistent with any lawful order of the Commission made
under the provisions of this Act. Certificate of
(18) After ninety days after this paragraph takes effect no carrier by railroad subject to this convenience and necessity, when Act shall undertake the extension of its line of railroad, or the construction of a new line of railrequired.
road, or shall acquire or operate any line of railroad, or extension thereof, or shall engage in trans
INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT
portation under this Act over or by means of such additional or extended line of railroad, unless and until there shall first have been obtained from the Commission a certificate that the present
or future public convenience and necessity require or will require the construction, or operation, abandonment of line with or construction and operation, of such additional or extended line of railroad, and no carrier by
certificate railroad subject to this Act shall abandon all or any portion of a line of railroad, or the operation from Commission.
thereof, unless and until there shall first have been obtained from the Commission a certificate that the
present or future public convenience and necessity permit of such abandonment. application
(19) The application for and issuance of any such certificate shall be under such rules and certificate.
regulations as to hearings and other matters as the Commission may from time to time prescribe,
and the provisions of this Act shall apply to all such proceedings. Upon receipt of any appliNotice. cation for such certificate the Commission shall cause notice thereof to be given to and a copy filed
with the governor of each State in which such additional or extended line of railroad is proposed
to be constructed or operated, or all or any portion of a line of railroad, or the operation thereof, Right be is proposed to be abandoned, with the right to be heard as hereinafter provided with respect to beard.
the hearing of complaints or the issuance of securities; and said notice shall also be published for three consecutive weeks in some newspaper of general circulation in each county in or through
which said line of railroad is constructed or operates. Certificate may (20) The Commission shall have power to issue such certificate as prayed for, or to refuse be refused, or is sued as prayed or to issue it, or to issue it for a portion or portions of a line of railroad, or extension thereof, departially
scribed in the application, or for the partial exercise only of such right or privilege, and may attach Terms and con, to the issuance of the certificate such terms and conditions as in its judgment the public conattached
venience and necessity may require. From and after issuance of such certificate, and not before, Other
ap- the carrier by railroad may, without securing approval other than such certificate, comply with the proval
terms and conditions contained in or attached to the issuance of such certificate and proceed with
the construction, operation, or abandonment covered thereby. Any construction, operation, or Injunction abandonment contrary to the provisions of this paragraph or of paragraph (18) or (19) of this secised construction, tion may be enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction at the suit of the United States, the operation, or aban- Commission, any commission or regulating body of the State of States affected, or any party in .
interest; and any carrier which, or any director, officer, receiver, operating trustee, lessee, agent,
or person, acting for or employed by such carrier, who knowingly authorizes, consents to, or perPenalty. mits any violation of the provisions of this paragraph or of paragraph (18) of this section, shall
upon conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for
not inore than three years, or both. Commission may require pro
(21) The Commission may, after hearing, in a proceeding upon complaint or upon its own vision of facilities initiative without complaint, authorize or require by order any carrier by railroad subject to this
Act, party to such proceeding, to provide itself with safe and adequate facilities for performing as Extension of
a common carrier its car service as that term is used in this Act, and to extend its line or lines: Prerequisite Provided, That no such authorization or order shall be made unless the Commission finds, as to findings as to convenience, neces- such extension, that it is reasonably required in the interest of public convenience and necessity, sity and ability.
or as to such extension of facilities that the expense involved therein will not impair the ability of the carrier to perform its duty to the public. Any carrier subject to this Act which refuses or
neglects to comply with any order of the Commission made in pursuance of this paragraph shall Penalty.
be liable to a penalty of $100 for each day during which such refusal or neglect continues, which shall
accrue to the United States and may be recovered in a civil action brought by the United States.
certificate pot required.
(22) The authority of the Commission conferred by paragraphs (18) to (21), both inclusive, Independently shall not extend to the construction or abandonment of spur, industrial, team, switching or side operated electric railways ex- tracks, located or to be located wholly within one State, or of street, suburban, or interurban cepted.
electric railways, which are not operated as a part or parts of a general steam railroad system of
transportation. 40 Stat. L., 272. Penalty during
(23) That on and after the approval of this Act any person or persons who shall, during the war for obstruc- war in which the United States is now engaged, Oknowingly and willfully, by physical force or
intimidation by threats of physical force obstruct or retard, or aid in obstructing or retarding, the orderly conduct or movement in the United States of interstate or foreign commerce, or the orderly make-up or movement or disposition of any train, or the movement or disposition of any locomotive, car, or other vehicle on any railroad or elsewhere in the United States engaged in interstate or foreign commerce shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and for every such offense shall be punishable by a fine of not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not
exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment; and the President of the President may prevent
obstruc United States is hereby authorized, whenever in his judgment the public interest requires, or retarda- to employ the armed forces of the United States to prevent any such obstruction or
Public Resolution No. 64 (41 Stat. L., 1359), 66th Congress, approved March 3, 1921, provides, in part: "That in the interpretation of any provision relating to the duration or date of the termination of the present war or of the present or existing emergency,
in any aot of Congress
containing provisions contingent upon the duration or the date of the termination of such war or of such present or existing emergency, the date when this resolution becomes effective shall be construed and treated as the date of the termination of the war or of the present or existing emergency, notwithstanding any provision in any act of Congress or joint resolution providing any other mode of determining the date of such termination."