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Statement of the Case.
This was a petition for a writ of mandamus filed in the Circuit Court for the county of Montgomery, by the State's attorney for that county, to compel the defendant railway company, which for several years past has operated, and is now operating, a railroad from St. Louis, Missouri, through the county of Montgomery and the city of Hillsboro, the county seat of such county, to Indianapolis, Indiana, to stop a regular passenger train, designated as the “Knickerbocker Special," at the city of Hillsboro, a sufficient length of time to receive and let off passengers with safety.
The petition was based upon section 26, of an act of the General Assembly of Illinois, entitled “An act in relation to fences and operating railroads,” approved March 31, 1874, which reads as follows:
" Every railroad corporation shall cause its passenger trains to stop upon its (their) arrival at each station advertised by such corporation as a place of receiving and discharging passengers upon and from such trains, a sufficient length of time to receive and let off such passengers with safety: Provided, all regular passenger trains shall stop a sufficient length of time at the railroad stations of county seats to receive and let off passengers with safety.”
The answer of the railroad company averred that the company furnished four regular passenger trains each way a day, passing through and stopping at Hillsboro, and that they amply accommodated the travel, and afforded every reasonable facility to such city; that the Knickerbocker Special was a train especially devoted to carrying interstate transportation between the city of St. Louis and the city of New York; that the travel between these cities had grown to such an extent that it had become necessary to put on a through fast train, which connected with other similar trains on the Lake Shore and New York Central roads, and that it was necessary to put on this train because the trains theretofore run, none of which had ever been taken off, could not, by reason of stopping at Hillsboro and other similar stations, make the time necessary for eastern connections, or carry passengers from St. Louis to New York within the time which the demands of business and inter
Opinion of the Court.
state traffic required; that the Knickerbocker Special is not a regular passenger train for carrying passengers from one point to another in the State of Illinois, such traffic being amply provided for by other trains, and that the Knickerbocker Special is used exclusively for interstate traffic from and to points without the State of Illinois; that it is not subject to regulation by the statute of Illinois providing that all trains shall stop at all county seats, and that to subject it to the statutes of the various States through which it passes, requiring it to stop at county seats, would wholly destroy the usefulness of the train, and would impede and obstruct interstate coinmerce, and that obedience to the statute in question would require it to abandon the train.
A demurrer to this answer was sustained, and the defendant electing to stand upon it as a full defence to the petition, a final judgment was rendered and a peremptory writ of mandamus awarded against the defendant. On appeal to the Supreme Court of the State this judgment was affirmed. Whereupon the railway company sued out a writ of error from this court.
Mr. John T. Dye for plaintiff in error. Mr. George F. McNulty was on his brief.
Mr. E. C. Akin, Mr. C. A. Hill and Mr. B. D. Monroe for defendant in error, submitted on their brief.
MR. JUSTICE Brown delivered the opinion of the court.
Few classes of cases have become more common of recent years than those wherein the police power of the State over the vehicles of interstate commerce has been drawn in question. That such power exists and will be enforced, notwithstanding the constitutional authority of Congress to regulate such commerce, is evident from the large number of cases in which we have sustained the validity of local laws designed to secure the safety and comfort of passengers, employés, persons crossing railway tracks, and adjacent property owners, as well as other regulations intended for the public good.
Opinion of the Court.
We have recently applied this doctrine to state laws requiring locomotive engineers to be examined and licensed by the state authorities, Smith v. Alabama, 124 U. S. 465; requiring such engineers to be examined from time to time with respect to their ability to distinguish colors, Nashville &c. Railway v. Alabama, 128 U. S. 96; requiring telegraph companies to receive dispatches and to transmit and deliver them with due diligence, as applied to messages from outside the State, Western Union Tel. Co. v. James, 162 U. S. 650; forbidding the running of freight trains on Sunday, Tlennington v. Georgia, 163 U. S. 299; requiring railway companies to fix their rates annually for the transportation of passengers and freight, and also requiring them to post a printed copy of such rates at all their stations, Railway Company v. Fuller, 17 Wall. 560; forbidding the consolidation of parallel or competing lines of railway, Louisville & Nashville Railroad v. Kentucky, 161 U. S. 677; regulating the heating of passenger cars, and directing guards and guard posts to be placed on railroad bridges and trestles and the approaches thereto, N. Y., N. II. &c. Railroad Co. v. New York, 165 U. S. 628; providing that no contract shall exempt any railroad corporation from the liability of a common carrier or a carrier of passengers, which would have existed if no contract had been made, Chicago, Milwaukee &c. Railway v. Solan, 169 U. S. 133; and declaring that when a common carrier accepts for transportation anything directed to a point of destination beyond the terminus of his own line or route, he shall be deemed thereby to assume an obligation for its safe carriage to such point of destination, unless at the time of such acceptance such carrier be released or exempted from such liability by contract in writing, signed by the owner or his agent, Richmond & Allegheny Railroad v. Patterson Tobacco Co., 169 U. S. 311. In none of these cases was it thought that the regulations were unreasonable or operated in any just sense as a restriction upon interstate commerce.
But for the reason that these laws were considered unreasonable and to unnecessarily hamper commerce between the States, we have felt ourselves constrained in a large number of cases to express our disapproval of such as provided for taxing di
Opinion of the Court.
rectly or indirectly the carrying on or the profits of interstate commerce. We have also held to be invalid a statute of Louisiana requiring those engaged in interstate commerce to give all persons upon public conveyances equal rights and privileges in all parts of the conveyance, without distinction or discrimination on account of race or color, Hall v. De Cuir, 95 U. S. 485; another regulating the charges of railway companies for passengers or freight between places in different States, Wabash St. Louis &c. Railway v. Illinois, 118 U. S. 557; another requiring telegraph companies to deliver dispatches by messenger to the persons to whom the same are addressed, so far as they attempted to regulate the delivery of such dispatches at places situated in another State, Il'estern Union Tel. Co. v: Pendleton, 122 U. S. 347; and still another forbidding common carriers from bringing intoxicating liquors into the State without being furnished with a certificate that the consignee was authorized to sell intoxicating liquors in the county, Bowman v. Chicago & Northwestern Railway, 125 U. S. 465.
Several acts in pari materia with the one under consideration have been before this court, and have been approved or disapproved as they have seemed reasonable or unreasonable, or bore more or less heavily upon the power of railways to regulate their trains in the respective and sometimes conflicting interests of local and through traffic. In the earliest of these cases, Illinois Central Railroad v. Illinois, 163 U. S. 142, the very statute of Illinois under consideration in this case, as construed and applied by the Supreme Court of that State, was held to be an unreasonable restriction upon interstate traffic, in requiring a fast mail train from Chicago to places south of the Ohio River, over an interstate highway established by authority of Congress, to delay the transportation of its interstate passengers and United States mail, by turning aside from its direct route and running to a station (Cairo) three and one half miles away from a point on that route, and back again to the same point, before proceeding on its way; and to do this for the purpose of discharging and receiving passengers at that station, for whom the railroad company furnished other and ample accommodation. Said Mr. Justice Gray: “The State may doubt
Opinion of the Court.
less compel the railroad company to perform the duty imposed by its charter of carrying passengers and goods between its termini within the State. But so long, at least, as that duty is adequately performed by the company, the State cannot, under the guise of compelling its performance, interfere with the performance of paramount duties to which the company bas been subjected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
Upon the contrary, in Gladson v. Minnesota, 166 U. S. 427, a state statute requiring every railroad to stop all its regular passenger trains running wholly within the State at its stations in all county seats long enough to take on and discharge passengers with safety, was held to be a reasonable exercise of the police power of the State, even as applied to a train connecting with a train of the same company running into another State, and carrying some interstate passengers as well as the mail. The case was distinguished from that of the Illinois Central Railroad v. Illinois, in the fact that the train in question ran wholly within the State of Minnesota, and could have stopped at the county seats without deviating from its course; and that the statute of Minnesota expressly provided that the act should not apply to through trains entering the State from any other State, or to transcontinental trains of any railroad. Speaking of police regulations for the government of railroads while operating roads within the jurisdiction of the State, it was said that “they are not in themselves regulations of interstate commerce; and it is only when they operate as such in the circumstances of their application and conflict with the express or presumed will of Congress exerted upon the samé subject, that they can be required to give way to the paramount authority of the Constitution of the United States.” The railroad in this case was treated as a purely domestic corporation, notwithstanding it connected, as most railroads do, with railroads in other States.
In the most recent case upon this subject, Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway v. Ohio, 173 U. S. 285, a statute of Ohio providing that every railroad company should cause three of its regular trains carrying passengers, if so many are run daily, Sundays excepted, to stop at a station, city or village contain