"Tap Line Case" Summary of Little Rock, Maumelle & Western 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.  

LITTLE ROCK, MAUMELLE & WESTERN RAILROAD. The Little Rock, Maumelle & Western Railroad extends from a connection with the St.. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern about 3 miles south of Little Rock, Arkansas, westward for 16 miles to a point known as Maumelle, from, which unincorporated logging spurs, aggregating about 10 miles in length and owned by the Neimeyer Lumber Company, radiate into the woods. The tap line, which has issued capital stock to the amount of $160,000 and 6 per cent bonds for $132,000, is substantially identical in interest with the A. J. Neimeyer Lumber Company. The stockholders of the tap line are stockholders of the lumber company, and most of the bonds are owned by stock-holders of the lumber company.

The timber holdings of the lumber company, which are extensive, were acquired from the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad Company in 1904. The tramroad was built two years later by the lumber company from the junction with the Iron Mountain for a distance of 7 miles into the timber; in 1907 it was extended 2 or 3 miles to a point known as Carnes; and in 1908 it was completed to Maumelle. The separate railroad corporation was not formed until 1907, and took over at that time the tracks already built and operated by the lumber company.

It is important to observe that the tap line parallels the line of the Rock Island, which is at no point more than 5 miles away. The intervening country is hilly and broken. Three towns are mentioned on the record as being reached by the tap line. Becker is a sawmill settlement, its only other industries being a brick plant and the penitentiary; at Carnes there is a small hardwood mill, which cuts hard-wood lumber for the Neimeyer Lumber Company, at a charge of $3 per 1,000 feet; and Maumelle, otherwise known as Douglas, is apparently only a logging camp. There are two or three small stave shippers on the line.

Two regular trains are run daily in each direction; their principal load is logs, but they also carry some passengers, who pay cash fare. The revenue from that source in 1911 was $2,223.11. The equipment consists of one locomotive, a combination caboose for the carriage of passengers and less-than-carload freight, several work cars, and a few flat cars. There is also a motor car, which was acquired from the lumber company and which is still used by its employees in the inspection of timber. All the equipment is second hand and was purchased very cheap.

The mill of the Neimeyer Lumber Company is located about three-fourths of a mile from the junction with the Iron Mountain, but the distance from the sawmill and planing mill to the actual point of interchange where cars are delivered to the Iron Mountain is about one-eighth of a mile. The main track of the tap line runs through the lumber plant. The logs are hauled over the unincorporated logging spurs to the point known as Maumelle, by employees of the lumber company, which owns and operates for this purpose three locomotives and 70 logging cars. From Maumelle the loaded cars are hauled by the locomotive of the tap line to the pond, where the trainmen assist the employees of the mill in unloading the logs. For the movement of the logs from Maumelle to the mill the tap line charges the lumber company 2 cents per 100 pounds, but 40 per cent of this amount is subsequently refunded, pound for pound, when the lumber is shipped out. The tap-line engine switches the empty cars furnished by the Iron Mountain and switches the loaded cars from the mill to the point of interchange with the Iron Mountain, a distance of about one-eighth of a mile. This service is paid for by the divisions, where joint rates are in effect. There are joint rates to practically all points except destinations in the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas, the joint rates being uniformly 2 cents higher from points on the tap line than from the junction point. The tap line receives a division of 5 and 6 cents per 100 pounds, which includes the 2-cent arbitrary. In other words, the Iron Mountain shrinks its rate 3 and 4 cents per 100 pounds. There are, as heretofore stated, no joint rates to Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. On shipments to points in those states the tap line receives a switching charge of $3 a car, which is paid by the lumber company or its customer in addition to the rate of the Iron Mountain. The stave men who ship over the tap line to Arkansas points do not have the benefit of joint rates, but pay a local charge to the tap line in addition to the rates of the Iron Mountain. Their traffic, however, is inconsiderable in amount, the total movements of staves for the year covered by the record being 300 tons and the traffic of the hardwood lumber mill amounting to 7,000 tons, out of a total movement over the tap line amounting to upward of 105,000 tons. No other freight was shipped out over the tap line, and the inbound freight was limited to a small quantity of hay, coal, castings, and merchandise, largely if not wholly for the lumber company or its employees. The traffic of the lumber company was nearly 93 per cent of the whole tonnage.

Approximately 40 per cent of the product of the Neimeyer Lumber Company is switched by the Iron Mountain to Little Rock and delivered to the Rock Island, which absorbs the Iron Mountain charge of $3.50 per car and in addition pays the Little Rock, Maumelle & Western a division of 5 and 6 cents per 100 pounds.

The officers of the tap line, with one exception, are officers also of the lumber company, and receive substantial salaries from the tap line. Through their connections with the tap line the officers of the lumber company enjoy passes over the trunk lines, which they freely use.

The tap line is operated at a profit, its operating revenues for the year 1910 being $47,341.83, and its operating expenses, $22,607.58, including substantial salaries to its officers, who are officers also of the lumber company. The net operating revenue was therefore $24,734.25, against which is charged taxes and interest to the amount of $22,231.12 on the bonds held by stockholders of the lumber company. It had a low operating ratio, 47.7 per cent.

The engine and cars of the tap line are repaired by the lumber company in its shops at Becker, and the cost. is charged against the railroad.

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.