"Tap Line Case" Summary of Warren, Johnsonville & Saline River 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.  

WARREN, JOHNSVILLE & SALINE RIVER RAILROAD. The entire stock of the Warren, Johnsville & Saline River Railroad Company, of which 50,000 has been issued, is owned by the stock-holders of the Bradley Lumber Company, a subsidiary corporation of the Chicago Lumber & Coal Company. Its outstanding bonds to the amount of $200,000 also are apparently held by the lumber company or its stockholders.

The tap line connects with the Iron Mountain at Warren, Ark., and with the Rock Island at Hermitage, the main track being about 15 miles in length. The statement on the record is that it has 1.13 miles of yard tracks and sidings, but the annual report to the Commission for the fiscal year 1910 shows over 10 miles of branch lines and spurs. The latter figure doubtless includes the tracks aggregating some 5 miles in length that are described on the record as private logging spurs owned by the lumber company. The equipment of the tap line consists of 3 locomotives, 1 caboose, and 50 logging cars. A time table is published which shows one " mixed train " moving daily on regular schedule; but it is explained that this schedule was issued in compliance with the regulations of the Arkansas commission, and that in fact there is no regular train movement. A few passengers are carried in the caboose without any charge. The tap line has three train crews and two gangs of trackmen, one of which is employed in maintaining the logging spurs.

The mill of the lumber company is at the junction with the Iron Mountain in Warren. In 1902 six miles of logging track were built by the lumber company from the mill into the timber, and subsequently an additional 4 miles were laid. When the tap line was incorporated, in 1905, the track then in operation was turned over to it, and an additional 4 miles was built to the connection with the Rock Island. A contract, to which the proprietary lumber company was a party, was entered into providing for the payment of allowances by the Rock Island to the tap line, and the delivery to the Rock Island of not less than 50 per cent of the output of the mill. The divisions thus received range from 12 to 5 cents per 100 pounds, the maximum amount being paid on the major portion of the traffic. Apparently the same allowances are made by the Iron Mountain, which actually receives nearly one-half the traffic. There are also some joint class and commodity rates published in connection with the Rock Island to interstate points.

The tap line hauls the logs from the point where they are loaded on the cars to the mill, charging the lumber company $6 per car in addition to the actual expense of maintaining and operating the. logging spurs heretofore referred to. Apparently there is no arrangement by which this charge or part of it is subsequently re-funded or written off the books by the tap line, but the record is not entirely clear in this regard. The empty and loaded cars for the shipments of manufactured lumber are switched by the tap line to the interchange track with the Iron Mountain, a distance of about 3/4 mile, or are hauled from and to the junction with the Rock Island, a distance of nearly 15 miles. (See map ante, p. 556.)

The country through which the tap line runs is a wilderness, the only towns being Warren and Hermitage, the respective junction points with the trunk lines. There is very little traffic except that supplied by the lumber company, although it is stated that there are one or two short spurs used by independent producers of staves, bolts, and ties, and there is an occasional movement of fertilizer or cottonseed. The annual report for the fiscal year 1910 shows but 1,539 tons of miscellaneous freight inbound and outbound out of a total movement of 170,527 tons, of which 2,120 tons was coal and 166,868 tons was forest products.

The tap line formerly enjoyed trackage rights over the Rock Island for the movement of logs, which were apparently being cut by the lumber company at points along that trunk line. The charge was 75 cents per train-mile, but the arrangement was discontinued in June, 1910.

This tap line, we find, belongs to the class of tap lines described in the original report herein. Its proprietary lumber company would be entitled to a reasonable allowance for switching its lumber to the Iron Mountain under the conditions there outlined.

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.