"Tap Line Case" Summary of Saline River 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.  

SALINE RIVER RAILWAY. The Saline River Railway Company was incorporated in 1897 and is controlled by the stockholders of the Saline River Lumber to which it is indebted in a sum exceeding $12,5,000, principally for money expended in changing the route and widening the track from narrow to standard gauge. The two companies are therefore identical in interest and have been from their inception; the property as an entirety was acquired by the present owners in 1907.

The Saline River Railway connects with the Cotton Belt at Draughon, Ark., where the sawmill and planing mill of the lumber company are situated, and extends southward to a point known as Glynn, Ark., where a connection is made with the tracks of the Warren & Ouachita Valley Railway, another tap line of which further mention will be made hereafter, by means of which it reaches the Rock Island. (See map, post, p. 556.) The tap line consists of about 1.9 miles of main track and less than 2 miles of sidings, with track-age rights over the Warren & Ouachita Valley to certain unincorporated logging spurs owned and operated for the Saline River Lumber Company. The equipment of the tap line consists of 3 locomotives, 1 combination passenger car, 35 logging cars, and 3 other cars. It has a small station building at New Edinburg, which is described of record as the only town on the line with the exception of Draughon. It has some stores and a bank, but is not shown as a community on the census reports of 1910. We understand, how-ever, that there are about 200 inhabitants in the locality. It is about 9 miles from Draughon, and, until shortly before the hearing, was the terminus of the incorporated tap line. The country traversed by the tap line is largely cut over timber lands, with a few farms and one or two small portable sawmills.

The sawmill and planing mill of the lumber company at Draughon is served by a sidetrack owned jointly by the tap line and the trunk line. The Cotton Belt places the empty cars and switches the loaded cars of lumber from the mills. The tap line, on the other hand, hauls the logs from the-loading point on the logging spurs in the woods direct to the mill, making a charge of $3 per car against the lumber company for the service on the unincorporated tracks. For the service of hauling the logs over the incorporated track the tap line receives from the trunk line a division of from. 1 to 22 cents per 100 pounds. About one-half of the lumber produced at the Draughon mill, however, is hauled by the tap line to Glynn, and thence by the Warren & Ouachita Valley to Banks, where it is received by the Rock Island, which allows a division of 5 cents per 100 pounds, of which 1 cents is retained by the Warren & Ouachita Valley. The Rock Island makes the same rate as that published by the Cotton Belt, 32 cents going to the Saline River Railway Company. There is no other explanation of record for this back-haul movement of the lumber.

The Saline River Railway has two regular logging trains daily between Draughon and New Edinburg, on which it transports passengers and carries the mail. Its revenues from passenger traffic for the year 1910, however, were but $1,041. Its freight revenue for the same period was $20,019.19. A few carloads of staves and other forest products were handled for outside parties, and the total traffic in commodities other than forest products was 1,400 tons, of which 191 tons was outbound farm products and the remainder inbound shipments of supplies, merchandise, and material.

This is a typical case of a mill located immediately on one trunk line, but which is induced to back haul its lumber for a considerable distance to another trunk line in order to get the benefit of its higher allowances. The Cotton Belt extends its lumber rate to the mill and performs the service. There is no reason, therefore, why it should make an allowance to this tap line. The aggregate division out of the rate to the two tap lines for handling the lumber from the mill through Glynn and thence over the Warren & Ouachita to Banks may not lawfully exceed 2 cents per 100 pounds.

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.