"Tap Line Case" Summary of Monroe & Southwestern 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.  

MONROE & SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY. The Monroe Lumber Company, predecessor of the Grayling Lumber Company in the ownership and operation of a yellow-pine saw-mill at Monroe, La., on the east bank of the Ouachita River and on the tracks of the Iron Mountain, built a private logging road from the opposite bank of the river into its timber. This track connects at West Monroe with the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific. Subsequently, in 1904, the Monroe & Southwestern Railway Company was formed, with an authorized capitalization of $1,000,000, of which $172,000 was issued, and took over the track referred to, which is about 10 miles in length. The stockholders of the Grayling Lumber Company own the stock of the tap line, and the two companies are one and the same investment. The incorporated track includes also about 7 miles of spurs and sidings, in addition to which the lumber company has unincorporated logging spurs connecting with the tap line at various points, the steel in which belongs to the tap line. The tap line has 4 locomotives and 91 cars. The lumber company has the free use of one of the locomotives. The tap line runs two logging crams daily in each direction and claims to carry a few passengers, but its report to the Commission for the year 1910 shows no passenger revenues. For the year 1911 the revenue from that source amounted to $334.35. About 99 per cent of the whole traffic, amounting to 99,338 tons, was supplied by the proprietary company. Its en-tire tonnage was forest products, with the exception of 484 tons of agricultural products and 69 tons of merchandise. It is claimed that four or five carloads of staves, bolts, and ties are moved each month for outsiders. A local rate is charged on all traffic except the lumber of the controlling company. This is true of the lumber manufactured at the hardwood mill of the Riverside Lumber Company, about 1 mile from the junction with the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific. This mill receives its logs on the river and pays the tap line $5 a car for switching its lumber to the trunk line.

As will be seen from the foregoing statement, the mill of the lumber company is served only by the tracks of the trunk line; its tap line terminates at the opposite bank of the stream. The service per-formed by the tap line therefore consists of moving the logs from the point of connection of the unincorporated spurs with its track to the west bank of the river. There is a cable stretched across the river which the lumber company operates and by means of which the logs are transferred from the cars on the tap line to the mill. The lumber is taken from the mill by the Iron Mountain, which allows out of its rates a division of 3 and 4 cents per 100 pounds. The Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific makes no rates in connection with the tap line, and no traffic of the controlling lumber company moves out over that line. In addition to the divisions received from the Iron Mountain the tap line charges the lumber company 12 cents per 100 pounds for the movement of the logs to the river.

The annual reports filed with the Commission indicate an accumulated surplus on June 30, 1910, of nearly $25,000, which had actually been expended, however, on the improvement of the line.

This is clearly not a case in which the trunk line may lawfully make any allowance out of its published rate either to the tap line or 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.