Article 17 – Railroads, Canals and Turnpikes – Arkansas Constitution

§ 1.   Common carriers — Construction of railroads.

All railroads, canals and turnpikes shall be public highways, and all railroads and canal companies shall be common carriers. Any association or corporation, organized for the purpose, shall have the right to construct and operate a railroad between any points within this State, and to connect at the State line with railroads of other States. Every railroad company shall have the right with its road to intersect, connect with, or cross any other road, and shall receive and transport each the other’s passengers, tonnage and cars, loaded or empty, without delay or discrimination.

§ 2.   Offices of common carriers.

Every railroad, canal or turnpike corporation operated, or partly operated in this State, shall maintain one office therein, where transfers of its stock shall be made and where its books shall be kept for inspection by any stockholder or creditor of such corporation; in which shall be recorded the amount of capital stock subscribed or paid in, and the amounts owned by them respectively, the transfer of said stock, and the names and places of residence of the officers.

§ 3.   Equal right to transportation.

All individuals, associations and corporations shall have equal right to have persons and property transported over railroads, canals and turnpikes; and no undue or unreasonable discrimination shall be made in charges for, or in facilities for transportation of freight or passengers within the State, or coming from, or going to any other State. Persons and property transported over any railroad shall be delivered at any station at charges not exceeding the charges for transportation of persons and property of the same class, in the same direction, to any more distant station. But excursion and commutation tickets may be issued at special rates.

§ 4.   Parallel or competing lines.

No railroad, canal or other corporation, or the lessees, purchasers or managers of any railroad, canal or corporation shall consolidate the stock, property or franchises of such corporation with, or lease, or purchase the works or franchises of, or in any way control any other railroad or canal corporation owning or having under its control a parallel or competing line, nor shall any officer of such railroad or canal corporation act as an officer of any other railroad or canal corporation owning or having control of a parallel or competing line; and the question whether railroads or canals are parallel or competing lines shall, when demanded by the party complainant, be decided by a jury as in other civil issues.

§ 5.   Officers, agents and employees of carrier — Personal interest in contracts prohibited.

No president, director, officer, agent or employee of any railroad or canal company, shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in the furnishing of material or supplies to such company, or in the business of transportation as a common carrier of freight or passengers over the works owned, leased, controlled or worked by such company. Nor in any arrangement which shall afford more advantageous terms, or greater facilities than are offered or accorded to the public. And all contracts and arrangements in violation of this section shall be void.

§ 6.   Discrimination by carriers.

No discrimination in charges, or facilities for transportation, shall be made between transportation companies and individuals, or in favor of either by abatement, drawback or otherwise; and no railroad or canal company, or any lessee, manager or employee thereof shall make any preferences in furnishing cars or motive power.

§ 7.   Free passes.

The General Assembly shall prevent by law the granting of free passes by any railroad or transportation company to any officer of this State, legislative, executive or judicial.

§ 8.   Condition of remission of forfeitures.

The General Assembly shall not remit the forfeiture of the charter of any corporation now existing, or alter or amend the same, or pass any general or special law for the benefit of such corporation, except on condition that such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter subject to the provisions of this Constitution.

§ 9.   Right of eminent domain.

The exercise of the right of eminent domain shall never be abridged or so construed as to prevent the General Assembly from taking the property and franchises of incorporated companies, and subjecting them to public — use the same as the property of individuals.

§ 10.   Regulation of carriers.

The General Assembly shall pass laws to correct abuses and prevent unjust discrimination and excessive charges by railroads, canals and turn-pike companies for transporting freight and passengers, and shall provide for enforcing such laws by adequate penalties and forfeitures, and shall provide for the creation of such offices and commissions and vest in them such authority as shall be necessary to carry into effect the powers hereby conferred. [As amended by Const.Amend. 2.]

§ 11.   Movable property of carriers subject to execution.

That rolling stock and all other movable property belonging to any railroad company or corporation in this State shall be considered personal property, and shall be liable to execution and sale, in the same manner as the personal property of individuals, and the General Assembly shall pass no law exempting any such property from execution and sale.

§ 12.   Damages by railroads to persons and property — Liability.

All railroads, which are now, or may be hereafter built, and operated either in whole or in part, in this State, shall be responsible for all damages to persons and property, under such regulations as may be prescribed by the General Assembly.

§ 13.   Annual reports of railroads.

The directors of every railroad corporation shall annually make a report under oath to the Auditor of Public Accounts, of all of their acts and doings, which reports shall include such matters relating to railroads as may be prescribed by law, and the General Assembly shall pass laws enforcing, by suitable penalties, the provisions of this section.

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