When railroads and canals deemed public highways; railroad and canal companies; common carriers; rights of railroad companies generally.

All railroads and canals not constructed and used exclusively for private purposes, shall be public highways, and all railroad and canal companies shall be common carriers. Any association or corporation organized for the purpose shall have the right to construct and operate a railway between any points in this state, and 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 railroad, and each shall receive and transport the freight, passengers, and cars, loaded or empty, of the others, without delay or discrimination.