"Tap Line Case" Summary of Black Bayou 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.  

BLACK BAYOU RAILROAD. The Black Bayou Railroad Company was organized in 1904 and was operated in the interest of the small sawmill of the Black Bayou Lumber Company. The record indicates that the lumber company got into financial difficulties as a result of the panic of 1907 and was compelled to cease operations. The Southern Lumber Company subsequently purchased the assets and reorganized the tap line corporation, which had forfeited its charter. Capital stock was issued to the amount of $50,000, in addition to which the tap line owes the Southern Lumber Company about $1,000. The tap line was there-upon rebuilt in a more substantial form and relocated to run in an-other direction, the 35-pound steel being replaced with 60-pound steel, which apparently is leased from the Kansas City Southern Railway Company.

The equipment consists of 1 locomotive, 1 construction car, and 26 logging cars. There are no station buildings or other facilities. Its employees consist of one train crew, one section gang, and a construction gang. The record states that no salaries are paid to its officers, who are also officers of the lumber company and who enjoy the privilege of free passes over the Kansas City Southern. The first annual report made to the Commission, however, for the fiscal year 1911, shows that the officers have since been placed on salary.

The Black Bayou Railroad connects with the Kansas City Southern at Myrtistown, La., and extends into the timber for a distance of 7 miles, crossing the state line into Texas. In addition to this track there are logging spurs aggregating over 8 miles in length constructed by the tap line. The mill of the lumber company is apparently at the junction between the tap line and the Kansas City Southern, and the Kansas City Southern places the 'empty cars and switches the loaded cars from the mill. There are joint rates on lumber out of which the Kansas City Southern allows the tap line from 1 to 4 cents per 100 pounds, which is, of course, intended to cover the movement of the logs into the mill. In addition to this compensation the tap line charges the lumber company, for the construction and operation of the logging spurs, an arbitrary amount, which is apparently determined- periodically and is sufficient to make the road show net earnings. For the year 1911 this charge seems to have been $5 per log car. The record describes the traffic of the tap line as consisting wholly of logs and camp supplies transported for the Southern Lumber Company. The annual report for the fiscal year 1911 seems to verify this fact. There is no regularity of train service, but about four trainloads of logs are handled each day. It does not carry passengers.

The annual report to the Commission is somewhat informal in character and indicates that the disbursements of the tap line are made through the lumber company.

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.