"Tap Line Case" Summary of Tioga & Southeastern 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.  

TIOGA & SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAY. The Tioga & Southeastern Railway Company was incorporated in 1905, and its entire capital stock, amounting to $50,000, is held by the stockholders of the Lee Lumber Company; the two companies have the same officers. Ten miles of the track was originally constructed by the Louis Werner Sawmill Company, from which it was acquired by the present owners in 1905, with the purchase of the sawmill at Tioga, La.

The tap line extends from a connection with the Iron Mountain at Tioga through Ems, which is on a branch line of the Louisiana Railway & Navigation Company, to Violet, a distance of 15 miles. Beyond that point the lumber company has about five miles of unincorporated logging tracks. The tap line also has several miles of spur tracks, some of which are used for logging operations in the woods. The equipment consists of 5 locomotives and 52 log cars. Two of the locomotives are leased to the lumber company for a rental of $10 per day.

The logs are loaded on the spurs and hauled by the lumber company to the junction of the unincorporated track with the tap line, from which point the tap line hauls the logs to the mill. For the service on the logs the tap line charges $5 per car where the manufactured lumber moves to a point where there are no through rates in effect with the trunk line. Where there are through rates the $5 charge is not made, but the divison allowed by the trunk line, which averages $20 per car on the lumber, is accepted by the tap line as covering the movement of the logs to the mill. Both the sawmill and the planing mill are reached directly by the Iron Mountain, so that the tap line performs no service in the movement of lumber over that route. About 10 per cent of the output of the mill is forwarded over the Louisiana Railway & Navigation Company, involving a haul by the tap line of 9 miles.

The tap line makes annual reports to the Commission. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1910, its freight tonnage aggregated 44,782 tons, of which all but 464 tons was lumber, logs, and staves. About 99 per cent of the entire traffic was furnished by the Lee Lumber Company. No dividends have been paid, but there was an accumulated surplus on June 30, 1910, of $99,194.61. The intention is to devote the surplus, as is asserted, to extending the road toward the Mississippi River and toward a connection with the Texas & Pacific, the country to be traversed being heavily wooded and the lumber company having an interest in the timber.

The service performed for the Lee Lumber Company by its tap line is a plant service and not a service of transportation. Any allowance by the Iron Mountain, which itself moves the lumber from the mill, would be unlawful. There is no justification for an extension by the Louisiana Railway & Navigation Company of the group rate to the mill and an allowance out of that rate to the tap line for the back haul from the mill to the junction at Ems.

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.