"Tap Line Case" Summary of Natchez, Ball & Shreveport 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.  

NATCHEZ, BALL & SHREVEPORT. The J. F. Ball & Brother Lumber Company has two mills, located, respectively, at Pollock and at Ball, in the state of Louisiana, being points on the line of the Iron Mountain, a short distance north of Alexandria. Simms, the junction point of the Enterprise Railroad with the Iron Mountain, is between Pollock and Ball. Each of the mills of the lumber company is served by the tracks of a tap line, which is known as the Natchez, Ball & Shreveport Railway Company, and is controlled by the lumber company. In other words; the tap line is built in two sections, one connecting with the Iron Mountain at Pollock and the other connecting with the Iron Mountain at Ball. The aggregate of the tracks is 34 miles, and at Dry Prong the tap line connects with the Louisiana & Arkansas Railroad, over which the Rock Island lines have trackage rights. The equipment consists of 4 locomotives, about 70 flat cars, and 2 cabooses, 27 of the flat cars being leased from the Iron Mountain for a per diem charge.

The record indicates that the tap line was built through an unbroken forest. It does not carry passengers; and its tonnage consists very largely of forest products, of which more than 95 per cent is supplied by the mills of the Ball company. The record is silent as to the manner in which the lumber is handled from the mills, which are located within a few hundred feet of the Iron Mountain, but our own investigations indicate that the cars are switched by the Iron Mountain. As the tap line seems not to enjoy allowances or divisions from the Rock Island or Louisiana & Arkansas, we infer that little if any tonnage is delivered to those companies. The divisions paid by the Iron Mountain out of its earnings range from 1J to 5 cents per 100 pounds. As on the other three lines composing the Southern Pine System, the logs are hauled by the tap line from the point where they are loaded on the logging spurs to the mill and a charge of $1.50 per 1,000 feet is made for the service on the logging spurs.

The Natchez, Ball & Shreveport has not filed annual or other reports with the Commission, nor has it published any tariffs that are on file with the Commission.

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.