skip to searchskip to content
  • facebookrss feedsyoutubetumblr
Special Court Reporter
print eadcite thisAsk Hagley
Special Court Reporter

Accession 2379

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-03-06T09:50-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Special Court Reporter (Accession 2379), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

icon

Descriptive Summary

Title: Special Court Reporter
Dates: 1975-1982
Accession Number: 2379
Creator: CRR Publishing Company
Extent: 61 volumes
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The Special Court was a federal court created to oversee and expedite the reorganization of six bankrupt northeastern railroads and the creation of a federally-funded Consolidated Railroad Corporation (Conrail). The Reporter was created for the information of the large number of lawyers involved in the cases. It covers the entire reorganization but is weighted towards procedural matters concerning what constitutes a fair valuation of appropriated property. It does not included actual testimony or exhibits.
icon

Administrative Information


Provenance

Donated by a former attorney for the Reading Company

Access Restrictions

Located in off-site storage. Please allow 48 hours for delivery.

icon

Historical Note

The Special Court was created under the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 (signed January 2, 1974) for the purpose of adjudicating conflicting claims arising out of the act-mandated transfer of viable properties of six bankrupt railroad systems to a new government-funded entity to be called the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail). The act created an independent agency, the United States Railway Association, to plan the transfer and establish by means of traffic criteria, which part of the rail network would be self-sustaining and eligible for transfer to Conrail.

The six railroads were the Penn Central Transportation Company (by far the largest), the Erie Lackawanna Railway Company, the Reading Company, the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey, and the Lehigh and Hudson River Railway Company (the smallest). In addition, there were numerous subsidiary companies that still owned rail property in their own names. The Three R Act had been passed because all of the companies had suffered such erosion of traffic and deferred maintenance that they could not be reorganized under the standard procedures of the bankruptcy laws, which were based upon reducing fixed charges to a level that could be supported by earnings. However, each of the companies remained in the hands of trustees appointed in bankruptcy proceedings begun before passage of the act.

Once the Railway Association had determined the viability of a particular rail line, transfer to Conrail was mandatory. As might be expected, the bankrupts sought to maximize, and the government to minimize, the amounts to be paid in compensation for this involuntary transfer of property. The former argued for something close to actual historical cost or replacement value, and the latter for scrap value. Even by the latter reckoning, the sums were quite large, so the matter was hotly contested, with large legal teams representing each party. Creation of the Special Court allowed these claims to be adjudicated by experts without clogging the regular federal court system.

The entire process took almost a decade. Penn Central agreed to settle its claim at $2.11 billion on January 15, 1981, and on January 24, the Special Court issued a blanket ruling sustaining the government’s contention that, while many route-miles retained rail use potential, the limited number of potential buyers meant that their value was close to scrap value. However, the last holdout, the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey, did not settle until July 1984. Of the six bankrupts, three were liquidated, and the other three used the sale proceeds and their non-rail assets to transform themselves into industrial or real estate holding companies or conglomerates. The Penn Central Transportation Company became the Penn Central Corporation and later American Premier Underwriters. The Reading Company eventually became an entertainment concern under its old name but based in Los Angeles, and the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey became Central Jersey Industries, Inc., which was subsequently merged into a French multinational conglomerate.

The Special Court Reporter was created by the Special Court's rule 17C3 to publish all papers filed with the clerk in proceedings under Sec. 303 (c) (the valuation case), a summary of proceedings, the rules of the Court, and all orders and opinions subsequent to December 1, 1975. It was published by a commercial law printing company, the Corporate Reorganization Reporter, Inc. (renamed CRR Publishing Co. in 1976) in a limited subscription printing for use by the attorneys engaged by all parties to the litigation and as part of the Court's official record.

The collection lacks at least three volumes and some pages.

icon

Scope and Content

The Special Court Reporter constitutes a step-by-step account of its proceedings and the playing out of the final stages of railroad reorganization in the Northeast, but it is heavily weighted towards procedural matters concerning what constitutes a fair valuation. It does not contain actual testimony or exhibits.

The index volume covers not only the contents of the Special Court Reporter, but also the testimony and exhibits which were too voluminous to reproduce and which were bound in separate volumes as part of the manuscript record of the Court.

icon

Arrangement

The volumes were not numbered and have been filed in hierarchical order with the index first and the other volumes in the order listed in the index. Pages were distributed chronologically and placed in loose-leaf binders according to type.

icon

Series Descriptions and Inventory

Volume
1 Special Court Index
Volume
2 Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973
Volume
2 Rules of Special Court
Volume
2 Schedules A, B & C established by Rule 17C2
Volume
2 Summary of Proceedings: J-1 - J-106
Volume
2 Summary of Proceedings: Misc. 75-3
Volume
2 Summary of Proceedings: Miscellaneous Actions
Volume
3 Summary of Proceedings - Civil Actions
Volume
4 Summary of Proceedings - Misc. 76-1, J107 - J2027
Volume
5 Summary of Proceedings - Misc. 76-1, J2029 - J2822
Volume
6 Civil Actions - Documents - D1-1 - D32-1
Volume
7 Civil Actions - Documents - D33-1 - D69-1
Volume
8 Civil Actions - Documents - D70-1 - D79-1, E-1, F-1
Volume
9 Docket Misc. 75-3: M1 - M635
Volume
10 Docket Misc. 75-3: M636 - M1428
Volume
11 Docket Misc. 75-3: M1429 - M2078
Volume
12 Docket Misc. 75-3: M2079 - M3074
Volume
13 Docket Misc. 75-3: M3075 - M4109
Volume
14 Docket Misc. 75-3: M4110 - M4901
Volume
15 Docket Misc. 75-3: M4902 - M5529
Volume
16 Docket Misc. 75-3: M5530 - M6289
Volume
17 Docket Misc. 75-3: M6290 - M6602
Volume
18 Docket Misc. 76-1: N-1 - N628
Volume
19 Docket Misc. 76-1:N629 - N1377
Volume
20 Docket Misc. 76-1: N1378 – N2105
Volume
21 Docket Misc. 76-1: N2106 - N2790
Volume
22 Docket Misc. 76-1: N2791 - N3577
Volume
24 Docket Misc. 76-1: N3578 - N4284
Volume
24 Docket Misc. 76-1: N4285 - N4935
Volume
25 Docket Misc. 76-1: N4936 - N5676
Volume
26 Docket Misc. 76-1: N5677 - N6320
Volume
27 Docket Misc. 76-1: N6321 - N6996
Volume
28 Docket Misc. 76-1: N6997 - N7676
Volume
29 Docket Misc. 76-1: N7677 - N8361
Volume
30 Docket Misc. 76-1: N8362 - N9053
Volume
31 Docket Misc. 76-1: N9054 - N9760
Volume
32 Docket Misc. 76-1: N9761 - N10470
Volume
33 Docket Misc. 76-1: N10471 - N11212
Volume
34 Docket Misc. 76-1: N11213 - N11900
Volume
35 Docket Misc. 76-1: N11901 - N12677
Volume
36 Docket Misc. 76-1: N12678 - N13351 [one volume missing]
Volume
37 Docket Misc. 76-1: N16413 - N17116
Volume
38 Docket Misc. 76-1: N17121 - N17798
Volume
39 Docket Misc. 76-1: N17800 - N18507
Volume
40 Docket Misc. 76-1: N18508 - N19263
Volume
41 Docket Misc. 76-1: N19264 - N20089
Volume
42 Docket Misc. 76-1: N20090 - N20864
Volume
43 Docket Misc. 76-1: N20865 - N21659
Volume
44 Docket Misc. 76-1: N21660 - N22346
Volume
45 Docket Misc. 76-1: N22347 - N23071
Volume
46 Docket Misc. 76-1: N23072 - N23717
Volume
47 Docket Misc. 76-1: N23718 - N25169
Volume
48 Docket Misc. 76-1: N25170 - N26578
Volume
49 Docket Misc. 76-1: N26579 - N27955 [mislabeled on spine]
Volume
50 Docket Misc. 76-1: N27956 - N29487 [mislabeled on spine]
Volume
51 Docket Misc. 76-1:N29488 - N30859 [mislabeled on spine]
Volume
52 Docket Misc. 76-1: N30860 - N32056
Volume
53 Docket Misc. 76-1: N32057 - N35497 [includes pages out of order]
Volume
54 Docket Misc. 76-1: N32595 - N34064
Volume
55 Docket Misc. 76-1: N34065 - N35251
Volume
56 Docket Misc. 76-1: N35498 - N36299
Volume
57 Docket Misc. 76-1: N36300 - N37048
Volume
58 Docket Misc. 76-1: N37050 - N37850
Volume
59 Docket Misc. 76-1: N37851 - N39019
Volume
60 Docket Misc. 76-1: N39020 - N39561
Volume
61 Docket Misc. 76-1: N39617 - N39997