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Statement of the Case.
therein, should surrender to the lessee company the possession of the railroad between those places and cease to operate the same or to receive its earnings.
The bill charged that the White Water Valley Railroad Company had taken and maintained possession of the section of the railroad mentioned since the first day of May, 1871, up to the commencement of the suit, and been in the receipt of all its earnings, and had disregarded its obligations to the holders of the certificates. The bill therefore prayed that an account be taken of the income and earnings of the said branch, and that out of the same the amount due the complainants on their certificates be directed to be paid, and that in default of payment the lien be foreclosed and the property sold.
Answers were filed to this bill and replications to them, and proofs were taken.
Pending the progress of the case the White Water Railroad Company, a corporation under the laws of Indiana -- a different corporation from the White Water Valley Railroad Company -- was permitted to intervene in the case. It seems that after the commencement of this suit the trustees in the mortgage of August 1st, 1865, brought suit for the foreclosure of the mortgage executed to them and obtained a decree for the sale of the entire road mortgaged, which included the whole of the road from Harrison, in Dearborn County, to Hagerstown, in the county of Wayne, embracing that portion extending between Cambridge City and the town of Hagerstown, and under such decree said property was sold and the White Water Railroad Company became its purchaser. In its answer to the bill of complaint, that company set up the proceedings had in the foreclosure suit, the decree for the sale of the property mortgaged, and its purchase of the same. The court below decreed in its favor, holding that the whole of that railroad, including the portion lying and extending between Cambridge City and Hagerstown, was thus acquired and owned by the White Water Railroad Company, and that the only equitable relief to which the complainants were entitled was a possible right to redeem from said mortgage, and gave
Opinion of the Court.
to the complainants thirty days in which to commence proceedings for such redemption, and ordered that in default of such proceedings the bill should be dismissed. The complainants declined to take any proceedings for that purpose and the bill was accordingly dismissed ; and they appealed to this court.
Mr. C. B. Matthews for appellants. Mr. D. Thew Wright was with him on the brief.
Mr. Attorney General for the White Water Valley Railroad Company, appellee.
MR. JUSTICE FIELD, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court, as follows:
From the above brief statement of the case, it is clear that the decree of the court below must be affirmed. The claims of the complainants, whatever validity and force may be given to them as liens upon the earnings of the section of road from Cambridge City to Hagerstown, between the parties agreeing to such liens, are entirely subordinate to the rights of the bondholders under the mortgage of the White Water Valley Railroad Company, executed for their benefit to trustees on the 1st of August, 1865. That mortgage was made before the claims of the complainants had any existence. It covered the entire property of the company then owned by it, including its line of railway from Hagerstown, in Wayne County, to Harrison, in Dearborn County, and all property appertaining to the road which it might afterwards acquire. The validity of mortgages of that character by railroad companies upon property which may be subsequently acquired is not an open question now. It has been affirmed by adjudications of the highest courts of the States as well as by this court. Indeed, in a majority of cases, mortgages by such companies upon their roads and appurtenances have been executed for the purpose of raising the necessary means to construct the roads; and sometimes, indeed, when the lines of such roads
Opinion of the Court.
had only been surveyed. In Galveston Company v. Cowdrey, 11 Wall. 459, 481, there were several deeds of trust which in terms covered after-acquired property, each of which was similar in its character to the one in this case, and the court held that they estopped the company and all persons claiming under them, and in privity with them, from asserting that they did not cover all the property and rights which they professed to cover. Said the court: “Had there been but one deed of trust, and had that been given before a shovel had been put into the ground towards constructing the railroad, yet if it assumed to convey and mortgage the railroad which the company was authorized by law to build, together with its superstructure, appurtenances, fixtures and rolling stock, these several items of property, as they came into existence, would become instantly attached to and covered by the deed, and would have fed the estoppel created thereby. No other rational or equitable rule can be adopted for such cases.” See also Porter v. Pittsburg Steel Co., 122 U. S. 267, 283, and cases there cited.
The decision in the case of Galveston Company v. Cowdrey also covers the only plausible position of the complainants, that they have a lien upon the earnings of the section, because with their moneys the road over it was constructed. But the work was not done at the request of the mortgagees, but upon a contract with the lessee of the road, which had stipulated as one of the considerations of the lease to construct that part of the line. With those contractors the bondholders, secured by the mortgage of August 1, 1865, had no relations, and incurred no obligation to them. In the case cited it was contended that priority should be given to the last creditor for aiding to conserve the road. But the court answered that this rule had never been introduced into our laws, except in maritime cases, which stand on a particular reason; that by the common law whatever is affixed to the freehold becomes part of the realty, except certain fixtures erected by tenants, which do not affect the question ; and that the rails put down upon the company's road become a part of the road. Here the same rule applies, and not only the rails, but those perma
nent fixtures which are essential to the successful operation of the road, become a part of the property of the company, as much so as if they had existed when the mortgage was executed.
The doctrine that a vendor not taking security for the price of realty sold by him holds in equity a lien upon the property for such price is not controverted, but it has no application to the present case. The only right which the complainants possessed was that which was recognized by the decree, a right to redeem the property from the sale under the mortgage, a right which they were allowed to exercise within a specific period; but, they declining to do so, the bill was properly dismissed.
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY v. MILLER.
ERROR TO THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS, NO. 2, FOR THE COUNTY
OF PHILADELPHIA, STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA.
No. 36. Argued October 24, 25, 1889. – Decided November 11, 1889.
Neither the charter of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, contained in an
act of the legislature of Pennsylvania, passed April 13, 1846, (Laws of 1846, No. 262, 312,) nor the acts supplementary thereto, nor the act of that legislature, passed May 16, 1857, (Laws of 1857, No. 579, p. 519,) constituted such a contract between the State and the company as exempted the latter from the operation of $ 8 of Article XVI of the constitution of Pennsylvania of 1873, requiring that corporations invested with the privilege of taking private property for public use should make compensation for property injured or destroyed by the construction or enlargement of their works, highways or improvements; nor did such constitutional provision, as applied to the company, in respect to cases afterwards arising,
impair the obligation of any contract between it and the State. The company took its original charter subject to the general law of the
State, and to such changes as might be made in such general law, and subject to future constitutional provisions and future general legislation, since there was no prior contract with it exempting it from liability to such future general legislation, in respect of the subject matter involved.
Opinion of the Court.
Exemption from future general legislation, either by a constitutional pro
vision or by an act of the legislature, cannot be admitted to exist, unless it is expressly given, or unless it follows by an implication equally clear with express words.
The case is stated in the opinion of the court.
Mr. A. H.
Mr. Wayne McVeagh for plaintiff in error. Wintersteen was with him on the brief.
Mr. David T. Watson and Mr. M. Hampton Todd for defendant in error. Mr. George W. Biddle was with them on the brief.
MR. JUSTICE BLATCHFORD delivered the opinion of the court.
This is an action on the case, brought in June, 1881, by George R. Duncan against the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, a Pennsylvania corporation, in the Court of Common Pleas No. 2, for the county of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The plaintiff sued as the owner in fee of a piece of land, with the buildings, wharves and improvements thereon, situated at the northwest corner of Twenty-third Street and Filbert Street, in the city of Philadelphia, and extending 230 feet and 11 inches along the west side of Twenty-third Street, and 426 feet from that corner along the north side of Filbert Street, to low-water mark on the Schuylkill River.
The declaration alleged that the defendant had constructed along and upon Filbert Street, and in front of the premises of the plaintiff, an elevated railroad, placed on iron and stone pillars set at the curb-lines in Filbert Street, at intervals longitudinally of 50 feet, more or less, and at an elevation of at least 20 feet above the established grade of Filbert Street, and had constructed an abutment for the sustaining of a bridge superstructure across the Schuylkill River, on the eastern side of said river and in the middle of Filbert Street, in front of the premises of the plaintiff, and had constructed, opposite Filbert Street, in the channel of the river, two piers to further support the bridge superstructure, the bridge and the elevated railroad making a continuous line of railway, operated by the