Interstate Commerce Commission Reports
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This page was last updated on March 31, 2023.
The reports of the ICC began with Volume 1, dated May 1887 to June 1888. They continue to the present time , with Volume 367, and contain cases for claims and complaints against carriers subject to the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, with all of its amendments.
The ICC existed as an agency of the U. S. government from February 4, 1887 to December 31, 1995.
ICC Reports Online
(Search the ICC Reports volumes online at Hathi Trust -- click on "Full View")
Obtain a citation to an ICC volume from other research, i.e., 138 ICC 45. Then find the Volume number in the sorted Hathi Trust search results, i. e., v.138.
Volumes available are from Volume 1 (1887) through Volume 367 (1980-1981), and new Volume 1 (1986) to new Volume 10 (1995).
Most of the cases, called "Dockets", deal with overcharges of freight rates, or requests for additional tariffs for new commodities. Some of the cases are interesting because they give an indication of the types of freight being moved by the railroads, along with some of the associated problems. Unfortunately, reading each and every case can become very tedious.
Every volume of ICC Finance Reports and ICC Valuation Reports contains an index in the front, along with a "Table of cases reported," and in the back is a listing of the cases that were dismissed for various reasons. Until December 1941, all cases not dismissed were reported.
Beginning with Volume 252 (December 1941 to October 1942), because of the number of cases involved, the commission did not report all cases accepted and decided. In these later volumes, the unreported cases are listed in the back as "Cases not reported." These unreported cases were found to contain some useful information. At first the unreported cases were only cited, with Docket number and date of decision. In later volumes some of the unreported cases are at least summarized.
Beginning with Volume 65 (May 1920 to January 1921) the ICC started reporting Finance Dockets. Each volume is devoted entirely to these financial cases and are identified as "Finance Reports" on the binding of the volume.
The finance dockets are of interest to railroad historians because they concern any construction, acquisition, control, and abandonment of any line that is subject to the ICC Act. The finance dockets were being reported on right to the end. The report for 1983 was Volume 366, October 1981 to June 1983.
Beginning with Volume 75 (July 1918 to July 1923) the ICC began reporting the Valuation Dockets, resulting from the valuation orders of 1914 and 1915. For the first 21 volumes, to Volume 149 (October 1928 to February 1929) each volume is identified with "Valuation Reports" on the binding and numbered in sequence with the other regular reports and intermittent financial reports. The remaining 27 volumes are separate from the ICC Reports and are identified as ICC Valuation Reports, Volumes 22 (January 1929 to xxxxx) through Volume 48 (xxxxx to December 1939).
These valuation dockets contain the corporate histories of all of the railroads in the US subject to the ICC Act. They also contain the claims by the railroads resulting from the period of federal USRA control, between April 1918 and February 1920.
Between 1914 and 1928, the ICC issued 25 separate valuation orders that provided for the nation's railroads to document the value of their trackage, rolling stock, and other assets for the purposes of establishing each company's value, for the further purposes of establishing fair and equitable shipping rates.
The important valuation orders for historians are No.1 for maps, No. 2 for physical property, No.3 for improvements to physical property, No. 8 for equipment and rolling stock, and No. 20 for corporate histories.
Items Of Utah Interest
(from the ICC reports, concerning Utah railroads)
Check 81 Utah 286 for LA&SL vs. Public Utilities Commission, Faust station closing, the "St. John Station Case". (See also: Utah Public Service Commission files, Box B62T1, 9/14/1987)
US vs. D&RGW RR Co. et. al. in 16F (2nd) 374-Eighth Circuit Court for when the government tried to take back the land under the Castle Valley Branch in 1924 on grounds of non-use.
Harriman/UP control of SP investigations:
12 ICC 277
157 Fed 432
211 US 407
53 L. ed. 253
29 Sup. Ct. Rep. 115 (U.S. Supreme Court Report)
SP control of CP (D&RGW Ogden gateway case):
328 ICC 345 (modifying 317 ICC 469, following demand of D&RGW in D&RGW vs. ICC, in 229 F. Supp. 249)
277 F. Supp. 671 (Southern Pacific Transportation Co. vs. U. S. (sustained)
390 US 744 (affirmed, per curiam)
UP/OSL to build Little Mountain Branch:
334 ICC 267
312 F. Supp 329 (D&RGW vs. U.S., sustained)
400 US 921 (Southern Pacific Transportation Co. vs. U. S., reaffirmed)
(Based on a typewritten original dated May 23, 1994, research completed in 1983)