"Tap Line Case" Summary of Groveton, Lufkin & Northern Railway  
  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.  

GROVETON, LUFKIN & NORTHERN RAILWAY. The mills of the Trinity County Lumber Company are at Groveton, Tex., a point on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, and for many years its logs were brought in over a narrow-gauge track constructed for that purpose and running from the mill southward to the timber. The record indicates that the facilities and service of the trunk line were not entirely satisfactory, and to secure another outlet for its products the lumber company therefore built a standard-guage road running northward to Vair, Tex., where it joins the Texas Southeastern, another tap line. When completed, the tap line was turned over to a corporation organized in 1908, under the Texas laws, known as the Groveton, Lufkin & Northern Railway Company, capital stock to the amount of $50,000 and bonds for $437,000 being issued to the lumber company for the completed road. From Vair to Lufkin the tap line enjoys trackage rights over the Texas Southeastern and as a result is enabled to reach the Houston East & West Texas and the Cotton Belt, which now receive a substantial portion of the output of the mills. The tap line has 1 locomotive, 1 passenger and 1 combination car, 8 box cars, and 21 flat cars.

The lumber company has about 20 miles of unincorporated logging tracks connecting with the tap line about 1-1/2 miles from Groveton. The lumber company hauls the logs over these tracks and over the tap line to the mill, a distance of about a mile. When lumber is shipped out over the Missouri, Kansas & Texas the tap line switches the cars between the mill and the interchange track, a distance of about 1 mile. The tonnage delivered to the other trunk lines is hauled by the Groveton, Lufkin & Northern about 20 miles to Vair, the terminal of its own rails, and thence over the tracks of the Texas South-eastern a distance of about 13 miles to Lufkin. It receives divisions of from 1 to 5 cents per 100 pounds out of the joint rates on lumber.

The Groveton, Lufkin & Northern claims to have a large outside tonnage. It operates a mixed train daily in each direction between Groveton and Lufkin, and its passenger revenues for the fiscal year 1910 exceeded $12,000, in addition to which its income from mail and express was about $1,200. During that year its total freight revenue was $43,075.72, of which about $33,000 accrued on traffic furnished by the Trinity County Lumber Company. It hauled during that period 8,175 tons of freight other than lumber, of which 2,422 tons was agricultural products and merchandise, outbound. The volume of its lumber movement for the same period exceeded 52,000 tons.

In this case we find that, on the products of the mill of the controlling company near Groveton, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas may lawfully pay the tap line a switching charge of $2 per car, and that the other trunk lines may pay divisions out of the rate not exceeding 2 cents per 100 pounds.

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