"Tap Line Case" Summary of Beirne & Clear Lake Railroad  
  Abstracted from "Tap Line Case", published in Decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission, 23 I.C.C. 277, 23 I.C.C. 549, and in Decisions of the United States Supreme Court, 234 U.S. 1.  

BEIRNE & CLEAR LAKE RAILROAD. The Beirne & Clear Lake Railroad is a narrow-gauge tap line built to serve the mill of the Penn Lumber Company at Beirne, Ark. The two companies are identical in interest. The tap line consists of 41 miles of track, constructed some years ago at a cost shown on its books as $8,000; but it was not incorporated until March, 1909, being operated previous to that date as an unincorporated logging road. The lumber company also has 4J miles of unincorporated track which it leases to the tap line for a consideration of $300 per year. The mill of the Penn Lumber Company is one-half mile from the junction with the Iron Mountain. There is also a small stave mill and a manufacturer of hickory bolts and shafts at Hartley, where the unincorporated tracks meet the incorporated tracks.

The entire traffic of the Beirne & Clear Lake consists of forest products, practically all of which is the property of the Penn Lumber Company, and on which it receives a division from the Iron Mountain of 2 cents per 100 pounds, the joint rates being the same as the rates of the Iron Mountain from the junction point. The tap line charges the lumber company $3 per 1,000 feet for hauling the logs from the timber to the junction between the unincorporated and the incorporated tracks. It operates a logging train daily and employs one train crew, a switch engine crew, and one section gang. It has nothing in the way of scales or warehouses, and its equipment is limited to 2 locomotives and 12 log cars. Its operating expenses are slightly in excess of the revenues. Although receiving a division under the claim of being a common carrier, subject to the act, it did not file an annual report with the Commission until the last fiscal year.

Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections, additions, and contributions of new material.