"Tap Line Case" Summary of Texas South-Eastern Railroad  
  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.  

TEXAS SOUTHEASTERN RAILROAD. The Texas Southeastern Railroad was originally constructed by the Southern Pine umber Company as a private logging road, but was incorporated in 1900 with a capital stock of $250,000, of which $238,900 has been issued and is owned by the stockholders of the lumber company. The tap line owes the lumber company $365,000.

The mills of the lumber company are at Diboll, on the track of the tap line, some 3,000 feet or more from the line of the Houston East & West Texas. The tap line runs northward from that point for a distance of 18 miles to Neff, where a connection is had with the Eastern Texas. There is also a track nearly 10 miles in length branching out from the so-called main line and terminating at Lufkin, a point on the Houston East & West Texas and the Cotton Belt. At Vair the Texas Southeastern meets the Groveton, Lufkin & Northern, another tap line that is a party to this record, which enjoys trackage rights over the Texas Southeastern to Lufkin. For this trackage right the Texas Southeastern receives from the Grove-ton, Lufkin & Northern an annual rental of $450 per mile, together with a proportion of the maintenance expense. The lumber company has several miles of logging tracks connecting with the incorporated road at Vair, but these spurs are operated for it by the tap line.

The Texas Southeastern has 4 locomotives, 1 caboose, 1 combination passenger and baggage car, 10 box cars, and 84 freight cars. Its regular service consists of one " mixed train " moving daily in each direction, on which passengers are carried.

The lumber company loads the logs and assembles the loaded cars on the unincorporated spurs; and from the assembling point they are moved by the tap line to the mill, a charge of $2.50 being made where the movement is less than 10 miles, and $3 per car where it is more than 10 and less than 20 miles. On lumber from the mill routed over the Houston East & West Texas through Diboll, the tap line performs a switching movement of from 3,000 to 8,000 feet. But 95 per cent of the lumber is said to move out through Lufkin, entailing a haul by the tap line of about 17 miles. Most of the traffic is delivered at Lufkin to the Cotton Belt, but about 15 per cent is taken at Lufkin by the Houston East & West Texas. The divisions accorded by the last-named trunk line are on a percentage basis and average about 3 cents per 100 pounds. But on traffic moving to Cairo, for example, the allowance for the haul of 17 miles is 4 cents per 100 pounds, while the trunk lines for their haul of 640 miles retain 12 cents. The Cotton Belt allows from 2 to 4 cents per 100 pounds.

During the calendar year 1910 the tap line moved 58,458 tons of lumber and ties, most of which was supplied by the proprietary company. It also handled 2,200 tons of miscellaneous freight, of which about 50 per cent was supplied by the controlling interests. Its annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1910, shows a total revenue of $98,543.91, of which $2,722.01 was receipts from passenger service. While the tap line keeps separate accounts, the statement made of record is that the lumber company acts as its financial agent and supplies all the funds needed. An accumulated surplus of $58,538.88 was shown on the books on June 30, 1910, but this had been expended in betterments.

The lumber rates of the Houston East & West Texas must be held to extend from the mill, which as heretofore stated is about 3,000 feet from its line, and it. may pay the tap line a switching charge of $2 per car for handling the products of the mill to its rails; when the products move out over the tap line to other trunk-line connections they may allow the tap line a division out of the rate not exceeding 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.