"Tap Line Case" Summary of Sibley, Lake Bisteneau & Southern 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.  

SIBLEY, LAKE BISTENEAU & SOUTHERN RAILWAY. The Sibley, Lake Bisteneau & Southern Railway Company and the Globe Lumber Company belong to what is referred to on the record as the R. A. Long interests, a majority of the stock of both companies being owned by R. A. Long. The tap line, with the Louisiana & Pacific and the Woodworth & Louisiana Central, forms what is known as the Shreveport, Alexandria & Southwestern system.

The Sibley, Lake Bisteneau & Southern connects at Sibley, La., with the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific and the Louisiana & Arkansas railways, and extends southward for about 31 miles through Webster and Bienville parishes for about 28 miles, terminating 3 miles beyond a point know as Camp Long. It apparently parallels the Louisiana & Arkansas for a considerable portion of its length. South of Camp Long there are extensive unincorporated logging tracks. The entire road, which is laid with 40 and 60 pound rails, was originally built as a private logging road, but was incorporated in 1900, with a capital stock of $100,000, all of which was issued to the lumber company in part payment for the property then acquired the valuation of which was fixed at $211,000. The tap line still owes the lumber company about $100,000. Its equipment consists of 6 loco-motives, 2 passenger cars, 7 freight cars, and 106 logging cars. It will be observed, however, that three of the locomotives and all of the freight and logging cars are leased to and used by the lumber company.

The mill is at Yellow Pine, a company town with a population of 1,200, less than 5 miles south of the junction with the trunk lines. The only other towns on the line are Sibley, the junction point, a place of about 800, and Ringgold, which is about 16 miles south of Sibley, and seems to be 5 miles from the Louisiana & Arkansas Railroad, having a population of more than 1,000, with a bank, several stores, and an independent sawmill, cotton gin, etc. It is claimed that the country tributary to the tap line is being settled; there are a number of very old farms. There are about 117,000 acres of timber reached by the tap line which is owned and controlled by the lumber company. The tap line claims to have four independent lumber shippers, the principal one shipping about 20,000 feet a day. This mill, however, is 3 miles from the tap line and its logs are hauled to the mill and its lumber to the tap line by teams.

The record indicates that about 70 per cent of its freight revenue accrued on traffic supplied by the proprietary company. During that year it handled 2,384 tons of agricultural products, moving out-bound, and 1,692 tons of such freight, moving in, with more than 4,000 tons of other freight. Of the whole movement 43,899 tons was supplied by the proprietary company, and 9,762 tons was handled for others. The tap line apparently runs one " mixed " train daily in each direction on which passengers are carried. Its revenue from that source during the year 1910 aggregated $3,112.16. The freight revenue for the same period amounted to $46,646.08. The operating expenses for that year exceeded $60,000, leaving a deficit after the payment of taxes and interest of more than $20,000. But there was an accumulated surplus from previous years of more than $80,000, so that on June 30, 1910, its net surplus was $53,626.70.

The lumber company loads the logs on the cars furnished to it by the tap line and hauls them to the junction of the logging tracks with the incorporated line. They are then hauled by the tap line to the mill, a charge of $2.75 being made for the movement, when the logs reach the tap line south of Ringgold, and $2.50 per car when taken by it from points north thereof. The logs coming from north of Ringgold are hauled to the tap line with teams, being purchased from small independent producers. With the exception of a few hardwood logs shipped for export no logs have been handled by the tap line for outsiders. The tap line moves the empty cars furnished by the trunk line to the mill and switches the loaded cars back to the junction, a distance of less than 5 miles. It receives out of the rates allowances from the trunk lines ranging from 12 to 42 cents per 100 pounds. It at one time received as much as 7 cents per 100 pounds.

In this case the allowance paid by the connecting trunk lines on the products of the proprietary mill may not lawfully exceed 1 cent 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.