"Tap Line Case" Summary of Ouachita Valley 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.  

OUACHITA VALLEY RAILWAY. The Ouachita Valley Railway connects with the Cotton Belt at Millville, Ark., where the mill of the Freeman-Smith Lumber Company is situate, and runs in a southeasterly direction for a distance of 28 miles to Stark, where it joins the Rock Island Railroad. A good deal is said on the record of proposed extension of the line to reach certain towns and farming country. There are said to be one or two small settlements and a few farms on the line, but the freight in which the lumber company was not directly interested amounted to but 450 tons for the eighteen months ending December 31, 1910. There are a number of miles of unincorporated logging track connecting with the tap line. The tap line itself is laid with a light 30-pound rail, but it owns its right of way. It has 5 locomotives, 2 cabooses, a motor car, and 70 logging cars. One mixed lumber and logging train runs daily in each direction between Millville and Stark; its passenger revenue for 1910 amounted to $764.54.

The tap line was originally built by the lumber company nearly 20 years ago; and upon its incorporation in 1904 the track and equipment was transferred to the railroad company in exchange for its capital stock, amounting to $100,000, which was thereupon distributed among the shareholders of the lumber company as a dividend.

The logs are hauled by the tap line from the loading point on the unincorporated tracks to the mill and are unloaded at the mill by the trainmen. A charge of $4 per car is made against the lumber company, which is supposed to include the expense incurred by the tap line in laying and changing the logging spurs. The mill is at the junction with the Cotton Belt which places the empties and takes away the loaded cars moving over that route. The greater proportion of the tonnage, however, is delivered to the Rock Island, requiring a haul by the tap line of the empty and loaded cars of 28 miles from the mill to Stark. When the Rock Island built into the country, in 1906, it entered into its standard form of contract with the Ouachita Valley Railway, requiring the routing of 50 per cent of its traffic over that trunk line and stipulating for the payment of a division of from 2 to 5 cents per 100 pounds. The Cotton Belt allows from 1 to 21 cents per 100 pounds. The excess of the Rock Island divisions therefore seems to be sufficient to induce a 28-mile movement by the tap line in preference to direct delivery to the Cotton Belt. There are also joint commodity rates with the Rock Island on fertilizer, hay, feed, and coal, but on most of the miscellaneous traffic, amounting only to 259 tons in 1910, local rates are apparently charged.

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.