"Tap Line Case" Summary of Mississippi, Arkansas & Western 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.  

MISSISSIPPI, ARKANSAS & WESTERN RAILWAY. The Mississippi, Arkansas & Western Railway, consisting of 8 miles of main track, was acquired by the Bliss-Cook Oak Company, which now controls it, in 1904 or 1905, when that company took over all the property of the Chico Lumber Company, including stock in the tap line corporation to the amount of $220,000 and bonds of the same face value. The tap line had been incorporated in 1902, and it is admitted to be overcapitalized.

The mill of the lumber company manufactures hardwood lumber and is located about 1.1 miles from the rails of the Iron Mountain.

In addition to the tap line the lumber company has 20 miles of unincorporated tracks extending from the end of the tap line into and through the timber. The tap line has 4 locomotives, 20 box and flat cars, and 53 log cars. There are two train crews who work jointly for the lumber company and the tap line. It has not had through rates on lumber with the Iron Mountain for the past two or three years; and the joint rates formerly in effect were 1 cent per 100 pounds higher than the Iron Mountain rate from the junction point; the net allowance then paid to the tap line was 1 cent and 2 cents per 100 pounds. Passengers are carried without charge. Since the cancellation of the joint rates and the discontinuance of divisions a charge of about $2.00 per car has been made against the lumber company for hauling the logs over the incorporated tracks to the mill. The unincorporated tracks are operated by the lumber company itself. The tap line does not make any charge, as the record clearly states, for the less than carload movements of staves, products, and supplies, amounting to about a carload a week, which it makes for the farmers along its line. Its traffic during the year covered by the record amounted to 4,229 carloads of logs and 605 carloads of lumber. These figures are understood to include 100 carloads of logs which it hauled for a lumber company having a mill some distance away on the Iron Mountain and f or which it made a charge of $2.50 per car for the movement from the loading point to the junction with the Iron Mountain. It also claims to have handled during the year mentioned five or six carloads of staves, on which it received a division of the joint rate then in effect with the Iron Mountain, and 20 carloads of stave bolts.

The annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1910, shows a net operating revenue of $7,242.53 available for the payment of interest and taxes, which exceeded that amount, leaving a loss for the year. It had, however, a surplus of $12,910.13 from previous years.

The allowances which the Mississippi, Arkansas & Western formerly received were cut off by the Iron Mountain as the result of our decision in Fathauer v. St. L., I. M. & S. Ry. Co., 18 I. C. C., 517. An opportunity was afforded in this proceeding for a full statement of the affairs of the tap line and its controlling lumber company, and the facts here briefly set forth were then developed.

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.