"Tap Line Case" Summary of Riverside & Gulf Railroad  
  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.

The Riverside & Gulf connects with the Santa Fe at a point known as Milvid junction and extends southward for a distance of about 12 miles. It has an additional 8 or 10 miles of logging spurs, passing tracks, and sidings. Its rolling stock consists of 3 locomotives, a log skidder, and some 70 other cars, not equipped with safety appliances; and it has 1 station agent, 6 train crews, and a number of shop and trackmen. It has received no divisions since August, 1908; previous to that time it was allowed 2 cents per 100 pounds by the Santa Fe.

The mill of the controlling interests is on the tap line about a mile south of the junction with the Santa Fe. The logs are hauled in by the tap line from the logging spurs in the timber at a charge of $3 per loaded car. The tap line switches the lumber from the mill to the Santa Fe, for which it makes a charge on its books, in order that it may be credited with proper earnings, of 2 cents per 100 pounds, but no such collection is made from the lumber company.

There is also an independent hardwood mill served by the tap line, located about one-half mile south of the yellow-pine mill of the controlling interests and owned and operated by T. B. Allen & Company. Its plant is said to be worth $175,000, and it has logging spurs extending from a connection with the tap line for several miles into its timber. The Allen Company has railroad equipment by means of which it hauls logs over its logging spurs to the tap line, over which it has a trackage right to the mill. For this privilege it pays the tap line 90 cents per loaded car. It will be seen, therefore, that the Riverside & Gulf does not haul logs to the Allen mill. In its statement of traffic and revenues, however, it includes the weight of the logs thus hauled by the Allen Lumber Company itself, and shows the earnings under the 90-cent trackage charge referred to as freight earnings. The lumber of the Allen mill amounted to about 6,000 tons for the year covered by the record; it is moved by the tap line from the mill to the Santa Fe, and for this service a charge of 2 cents per 100 pounds is made on the books. But this charge is not being collected. The explanation is that when the Allen Company located its mill on the tap line some years ago the president of the Miller-Vidor Company guaranteed that it would have the same rates to the markets as mills located on the Santa Fe proper. At that time the tap line had joint rates with the Santa Fe and was receiving an allowance of 2 cents.

It is explained that if as the result of this proceeding the joint rates are restored and divisions are again received from the Santa Fe the tap line will collect the 2-cent charge on traffic of the Allen Company from the Santa Fe; but if this proceeding has another result the charge of 2 cents on the lumber of the Allen mill will be paid by the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company, under the obligation imposed upon it by the contract under which the Allen Company was induced to locate there.

The traffic of the Riverside & Gulf for the year 1910 consisted of 26,565 tons of lumber and 131,880 tons of logs, handled for the Miller-Vidor Company; 6,214 tons of hardwood lumber for T. B. Allen & Company, and about 1,500 tons of other freight, practically all of which was handled for the account of the Miller-Vidor 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.