Railroads: Finance and Organization

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Longmans, Green, 1915 - Railroads - 638 pages
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Page 318 - We hold, however, that the basis of all calculations as to the reasonableness of rates to be charged by a corporation maintaining a highway under legislative sanction must be the fair value of the property being used by it for the convenience of the public.
Page 323 - It is clear that in ascertaining the present value we are not limited to the consideration of the amount of the actual investment. If that has been reckless or improvident, losses may be sustained which the community does not underwrite. As the company may not be protected in its actual investment, if the value of its property be plainly less, so the making of a just return for the use of the property involves the recognition of its fair value if it be more than its cost.
Page 314 - This power to regulate is not a power to destroy, and limitation is not the equivalent of confiscation. Under pretense of regulating fares and freights, the state cannot require a railroad corporation to carry persons or property without reward ; neither can it do that which in law amounts to a taking of private property for public use without just compensation, or without due process of law.
Page 317 - It is unnecessary to decide, and we do not wish to be understood as laying down as an absolute rule, that in every case a failure to produce some profit to those who have invested their money in the building of a road is conclusive that the tariff is unjust and unreasonable.
Page 318 - And in order to ascertain that value, the original cost of construction, the amount expended in permanent improvements, the amount and market value of its bonds and stock, the present as compared with the original cost of construction, the probable earning capacity of the property under particular rates prescribed by statute, and the sum required to meet operating expenses...
Page 317 - There may be circumstances which would justify such a tariff; there may have been extravagance and a needless expenditure of money; there may be waste in the management of the road; enormous salaries, unjust discrimination as between individual shippers, resulting in general loss. The construction may have been at a time when material and labor were at the highest price, so that the actual cost far exceeds the present value; the road may have been unwisely built, in localities where there is not...
Page 558 - I am happy to know that only a minority of my brethren adopt an interpretation of the law which in my opinion would make eternal the helium omnium contra omnes and disintegrate society so far as it could into individual atoms.
Page 319 - What the company is entitled to ask is a fair return upon the value of that which it employs for the public convenience. On the other hand, what the public is entitled to demand is that no more be exacted from it for the use of a public highway than the services rendered by it are reasonably worth.
Page 367 - An adjustment of this sort under a power to regulate rates has to steer between Scylla and Charybdis. On the one side, if the franchise is taken to mean that the most profitable return that could be got, free from competition, is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, then the power to regulate is null.
Page 317 - Is there anything which detracts from the force of the general allegation that these rates are unjust and unreasonable? This clearly appears. The cost of this railroad property was $40,000,000; it cannot be replaced to-day for less than $25,000,000. There are $15,000,000 of mortgage bonds outstanding against it, and nearly $10,000,000 of stock. These bonds and stock represent money invested in the construction of this road.

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