Railway Company v. Alling Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company/Dissent Waite

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Case Syllabus
Opinion of the Court
Dissenting Opinion

United States Supreme Court

99 U.S. 463

Railway Company  v.  Alling Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company


I dissent from the judgment in this case. In my opinion the grant of the right of way to the Denver and Rio Grande Company, contained in the act of June 8, 1872, is no more than a license to enter upon and use such of the public lands of the United States as should be unoccupied and not appropriated to other purposes when the permanent location of its road with a view to actual construction should be made. Words which, in a grant of land to aid in building a railroad, imply a present grant need not necessarily have that effect in a grant of right of way only.

I think, also, the Ca non City and San Juan Company made the first permanent location with a view to actual construction through the pass in controversy. Consequently it secured the preference of routes, subject to a reasonable use of the route it occupied, if necessary, by the Denver Company in common with itself.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).