"Tap Line Case" Summary of Peach River & Gulf Railway  
  Bibliography: "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.  

PEACH RIVER LINES. The three tap lines of the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company, the corporate names of which are Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern Railway Company, Peach River & Gulf Railway Company, and Riverside & Gulf Railway Company, respectively, comprise a " system " known as the Peach River lines. The first named of these companies was incorporated March 2, 1906, and has capital stock to the amount of $100,000, of which $93,000 is held in trust as collateral security for bonds issued by the lumber company on certain of its timber lands. The Peach River & Gulf was incorporated in March, 1904, and has capital stock to the amount of $100,000. The Riverside & Gulf was incorporated in April, 1907, and has a capital stock of $50,000. All three companies are controlled by the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company, whose timber lands and sawmills they serve. It is important to observe that neither of them is recognized by the authorities of the state of Texas as a common carrier by railroad, and they there-fore do not participate as such in joint rates on intrastate traffic.

PEACH RIVER & GULF RAILROAD. The Peach River & Gulf connects with the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe at Timber, Tex., and extends southeasterly for a distance of 10 miles to Midline, where it crosses the Houston East & West Texas Railroad, and terminates at Bartle, 1 mile beyond. It also has one short branch connecting with its main line at a point 5-1/2 miles from Timber, known as Lincoln. The burning of a bridge on that section some time prior to the hearing resulted in the suspension of train service between Lincoln and the Houston East & West Texas, and it was said on the hearing that the bridge would not be rebuilt until the determination in this case of the legality of its allowances. The tracks were laid by the Santa Fe at the expense of the tap line and are standard gauge, with 35 and 40 pound steel. Its equipment consists of 3 locomotives, 30 freight cars, and 1 coach; the cars are not equipped with safety appliances. It has 2 train crews and 1 section gang, and operates, as the record indicates, a daily train on regular schedule. While the passenger coach seems to be attached to this train the road has no passenger earnings, which indicates that no charge is made for such persons as may be carried. Its entire revenues accrue on the logs and lumber of the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company, there being no other inbound or outbound freight of sufficient consequence to be mentioned on the record or on its reports to the Commission.

The mill of the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company is located at the junction with the Santa Fe at Timber, and while the spur track to the loading platform is owned by the tap line, the Santa Fe spots the empties and switches the loaded cars. The tap line formerly switched the lumber to the Houston, East & West Texas, a distance of 12 miles, when it was in receipt of divisions. But it has had no allowances either from the Santa Fe or the Southern Pacific since August, 1908. Prior to that time it received 1 and 2 cents per 100 pounds. Its witness testified that it would be to the interest of the lumber company to have the Santa Fe haul the lumber direct from the mill rather than for the tap line to haul the lumber 12 miles to the Houston, East & West Texas for a division of 2 cents per 100 pounds. The Peach River & Gulf hauls logs over the logging spurs, which it constructs and maintains, and thence over its main track to the mill, for which it makes a charge on the books of $3 per log car against 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.