"Tap Line Case" Summary of Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern Railway  
  Bibliography: "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.  

PEACH RIVER LINES. The three tap lines of the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company, the corporate names of which are Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern Railway Company, Peach River & Gulf Railway Company, and Riverside & Gulf Railway Company, respectively, comprise a " system " known as the Peach River lines. The first named of these companies was incorporated March 2, 1906, and has capital stock to the amount of $100,000, of which $93,000 is held in trust as collateral security for bonds issued by the lumber company on certain of its timber lands. The Peach River & Gulf was incorporated in March, 1904, and has capital stock to the amount of $100,000. The Riverside & Gulf was incorporated in April, 1907, and has a capital stock of $50,000. All three companies are controlled by the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company, whose timber lands and sawmills they serve. It is important to observe that neither of them is recognized by the authorities of the state of Texas as a common carrier by railroad, and they there-fore do not participate as such in joint rates on intrastate traffic.

GALVESTON, BEAUMONT & NORTHEASTERN. The Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern has 9 miles of main track running southward from a point in the timber known as De Sanque to Vidor, Tex., where it connects with the Texarkana & Fort Smith. Railway, over which it has trackage rights for a distance of 8 miles through Beaumont to Chaison. The trackage contract entered into in 1908 is in evidence and limits the use of the track by the tap line to the "hauling of company material in carload lots, with its own cars and engines "; this is apparently intended to mean the logs of the lumber company. A wheelage charge of $27.50 per train of 15 cars, equivalent to $1.83 per car, is made by the Texarkana & Fort Smith. From Chaison a joint track about 1-1/2 miles in length extends to the plant of the Beaumont Sawmill Company, one of the Miller-Vidor corporations, on the bank of the Neches River. For the use of this track the tap line pays the Texarkana & Fort Smith about $105 per month. The equipment of this tap line consists of 2 locomotives, 40 flat cars, and 1 caboose. It has two train crews and one section gang. The logging spurs are apparently constructed, maintained, and operated by the tap line.

The record indicates that the entire traffic of the Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern consists of logs and lumber handled for the controlling interests, and this is verified by its annual reports to the Commission, which show neither passenger nor express revenue. nor any tonnage other than forest products. The logs are hauled by the tap line from the timber over the tracks heretofore described to the mill, where they are unloaded by its trainmen into the river. For this movement of the logs the tap line on its books makes a charge of $3 per car against the lumber company, and no part of this charge is refunded. The tap line also switches the cars for lumber shipments between the mill and the track used for interchange with the Texarkana & Fort Smith, a distance of 31 miles; and for this service it receives out of the published rate to interstate points an allowance of 11 to 4 cents per 100 pounds. On intrastate traffic the allowance is uniformly $1.50 per loaded car.

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.