"Tap Line Case" Summary of Louisiana 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.  

LOUISIANA RAILWAY. The stockholders of the Grant Timber & Manufacturing Company own a majority if not practically all of the capital stock of the Louisiana Railway Company, and practically the only service per-formed by the latter is the movement of logs and lumber for the proprietary company. The two corporations have the same officers.

The track of the tap line is about 16 miles in length, connects at Grant, its eastern terminus, with the Louisiana & Arkansas, crosses the Iron Mountain at Selma, running thence westerly for several miles and turning northward, crossing the Louisiana & Arkansas, and terminating at a point in the timber known as Harrell; there are also about 14 miles of unincorporated logging tracks the steel in which is owned by the tap line, but which are laid and maintained by the lumber company. About 9 miles of the main track was purchased from prior owners for the sum of $85,000; the remainder was apparently constructed by the lumber company and turned over to the tap line, the cost being borne out of the earnings. The cost of the entire track, which is laid with light rail, and equipment, aggregated about $200,000. The tap line has 6 locomotives, 25 flat cars, and 93 logging cars.

The lumber company has two mills in operation at Selma, one immediately adjacent to the line of the Iron Mountain and the other within 300 feet of its right of way. Its timber holdings aggregate more than 100,000 acres and include certain lands where the lumber company has private logging spurs reached by the tap line by means of trackage rights over the Louisiana & Arkansas. The tap line hauls the logs all the way from the point of loading to the mill, and the trainmen unload them into the pond. A charge of $1 per 1,000 feet is made against the lumber company, which is supposed to cover the rental of the steel in the unincorporated tracks as well as the service performed by the tap line in moving the logs thereon. The loading track at one of the mills in Selma is owned in part by the Iron Mountain and in part by the lumber company. The other mill has a sHort spur track, less than 300 feet in length, connecting with the Iron Mountain. The record does not clearly indicate whether the locomotive of the Iron Mountain or that of the tap line places the empty cars and switches the loaded cars for lumber movements from the mills or either of them. About one-half of the traffic of the lumber company is forwarded over the Louisiana & Arkansas, which entails a movement by the tap line of the empty car for a distance of 24 miles from Grant to Selma, and of the loaded car f or the same distance from the mills at Selma to Grant. Each of the trunk lines publishes rates in connection with the tap line, and each makes an allowance of from 2 to 4 cents per 100 pounds. As heretofore stated, the tap line has practically no outside traffic. During the year covered by the record it moved 260,000 tons of logs for the proprietary company, and 7 5,848 tons, or about 3,000 carloads, of lumber.

The tap Iine makes annual reports to the Commission. Its capital stock amounts to $100,000, of which $75,000 was issued as a stock dividend. No cash dividends have been paid, but large sums have been taken from earnings to extend or improve the property. There was apparently a surplus on June 30, 1910, of about $80,000, against which must be balanced an indebtedness of nearly $20,000 due on open account to the lumber company.

We find on the facts disclosed that the Louisiana Railway; in the movement of the logs and lumber of the proprietary company, is a plant facility, and comes within the group of cases embraced in the original report herein. The mills at Selma are within 300 feet of the Iron Mountain; and for the reasons stated in the original report we can not recognize the propriety of any allowance for the movement of cars between the mill and the Iron Mountain tracks, although performed by the lumber company itself. Our view is, however, that for the movement of lumber from the mill to the Louisiana & Arkansas, a distance of about 21 miles, that company may make an allowance of a reasonable amount under section 15 of the act to 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.